The Rigoberta Menchú Controversy

Front Cover
Arturo Arias, David Stoll
U of Minnesota Press, 2001 - Social Science - 418 pages
4 Reviews
Guatemalan indigenous rights activist Rigoberta Menchu first came to international prominence following the 1983 publication of her memoir, I, Rigoberta Menchu, which chronicled in compelling detail the violence and misery that she and her people suffered during her country's brutal civil war. The book focused world attention on Guatemala and led to her being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992. In 1999, a book by David Stoll challenged the veracity of key details in Menchu's account, generating a storm of controversy. Journalists and scholars squared off regarding whether Menchu had lied about her past and, if so, what that would mean about the larger truths revealed in her book.

In The Rigoberta Menchu Controversy, Arturo Arias has assembled a casebook that offers a balanced perspective on the debate. The first section of this volume collects the primary documents -- newspaper articles, interviews, and official statements -- in which the debate raged, many translated into English for the first time. In the second section, a distinguished group of international scholars assesses the political, historical, and cultural contexts of the debate, and considers its implications for such issues as the "culture wars", historical truth, and the politics of memory. Also included is a new essay by David Stoll in which he responds to his critics.

  

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Review: Rigoberta Menchu Controversy

User Review  - Anjali - Goodreads

actually does a really good job extrapolating the important theoretical issues in thinking about what is "truth" and what it means to engage in "truth telling"-- rather than trying to figure out details of "I, Rigoberta Menchu." Read full review

Review: Rigoberta Menchu Controversy

User Review  - Goodreads

actually does a really good job extrapolating the important theoretical issues in thinking about what is "truth" and what it means to engage in "truth telling"-- rather than trying to figure out details of "I, Rigoberta Menchu." Read full review

Contents

Rigoberta Manchus History within the Guatemalan Context
3
I Rigoberta Menchu and the Culture Wars
29
The Public Speaks
51
Tarnished Laureate
58
I Dont Seek to Destroy Menchu
66
Lies by the Nobel Prize Winner
73
Arturo Taracena Breaks His Silence
82
Rigoberta
95
Responses and Implications
133
Why Write an Expose of Rigoberta Menchu?
141
Rigoberta Menchu and
171
Taking David Stoll and
198
Rigoberta Menchu
219
Las Casass Lies and Other Language Games
237
Whose Truth? Iconicity and Accuracy in the World
270
Rigoberta Va
332

The Truth That Challenges the Future
103
Those Who Attack Me Humiliate the Victims
109
David Stoll Breaks the Silence
118
The National Council of Mayan Education
125
Menchu after Stoll and the Truth Commission
351
The Battle of Rigoberta
392
Contributors
411
Copyright

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About the author (2001)

Arias is director of Latin American Studies at the University of Redlands.

Stoll is assistant professor of anthropology at Middlebury College.

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