They rode white horses
- Intimate Enemies: Violence and Reconciliation in Peru by Kimberly Theidon
Pennsylvania, 461 pp, £49.00, November 2012, ISBN 978 0 8122 4450 2
Kimberly Theidon is an example of a new breed of anthropologist, one bearing some resemblance to a political activist. Her book is part of a series of studies in human rights but one of the blurbs on the jacket calls it an ethnography. Its subject is the process of reconciliation that followed a failed, exceptionally violent uprising by Sendero Luminoso, or Shining Path, a Maoist group founded by a provincial philosophy professor in Peru called Abimael Guzmán, who hoped, as Theidon puts it, to ‘mobilise the peasantry, surround the cities, and strangle the urbanised coast into submission’.