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1956. Argentina has just lost its charismatic president Juán Perón in a military coup, and terror reigns across the land. June 1956: eighteen people are reported dead in a failed Peronist uprising. December 1956: sometime journalist, crime fiction writer, studiedly unpoliticized chess aficionado Rodolfo Walsh learns by chance that one of the executed civilians from a separate, secret execution in June, is alive. He hears that there may be more than one survivor and believes this unbelievable story on the spot. And right there, the monumental classic Operation Massacre is born.
Walsh made it his mission to find not only the survivors but widows, orphans, political refugees, fugitives, alleged informers, and anonymous heroes, in order to determine what happened that night, sending him on a journey that took over the rest of his life.
Originally published in 1957, Operation Massacre thoroughly and breathlessly recounts the night of the execution and its fallout.
“A mesmerizing, prophetic tour de force of investigative journalism exposing the pervasive thuggishness of the Argentine military elite. A chilling, lucid work, beautifully translated by Gitlin, which serves as a great example of journalistic integrity.”–Kirkus Reviews
“Finally, this classic of Latin American literature is available in English! Walsh not only exposes a terrible crime with precise and haunting prose, but establishes, many years before Capote and Mailer, a whole new genre of personal investigative journalism that transcends its immediate circumstances.”–Ariel Dorfman
“A great publishing event. That Operation Massacre had not been translated into English before this was shameful; that it is available to English-readers now is a marvelous thing.”–Alma Guillermoprieto, author of Looking for History: Dispatches from Latin America
“All of [Walsh’s] work demonstrates...his commitment to reality, his almost implausible analytical talent, his personal bravery, and his political ferocity.”–Gabriel García Márquez