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The Shining Path was one of the most brutal insurgencies ever seen in the Western Hemisphere. "Political Violence and the Authoritarian State in Peru" explores the devastating effects of insurgent violence and the state's brutal counterinsurgency methods on Peruvian civil society. Drawing on ethnographic research in Lima's vast shantytowns, the author provides original insights into Shining Path's efforts to spread its revolution to the capital city and the evolving responses of the urban poor to the insurgency. The book examines how the growing insurgent threat gave rise to a despotic regime led by Alberto Fujimori and his secret advisor, Vladimiro Montesinos, until it collapsed under the weight of its own corruption and the rebirth of civil society. Burt's analysis provides compelling insights into the way societies sacrifice freedom and democracy in the name of fighting terrorism, but also the way ruling elites manipulate societal fears to perpetuate their power and privilege.
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