Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 2:24 pm
Has anybody ever bothered reading a well researched book?
I don't understand why so many people criticize this woman whose life is shrouded in mystery and mis-information. People have condemned Eva Peron as if she was the only "dishonest" politician who ever lived.
Why are people so threatened by Evita? A woman whose been dead for over 50 years. Why don't they direct their energy and hatred towards other corrupt politians who are ALIVE right now and doing a great deal of harm.
I have over 150 books/magazines (in both spanish and English) about the life of Eva Peron so I pretty much know everything there is to know about EVITA including all the myths surrounding her. And I've written this in response to the posts labelling her as EVIL and a BITCH.
For starters, I will say this:
The Peronista's and the many historians who ACTUALLY studied Eva Peron (and Peronism in general) such as JM Taylor, Maryssa Navarro, Fermin Chavez, Alicia Dujovne Ortiz, Antonio Cafiero, Carmen Llorca, Ricardo Blaustein, Robert Crasweller, Joseph Page, Nicolas Fraser..just to name a few, can make a lengthy list of Eva's GOOD deeds (which I will get into a bit later)..
Whenever somebody writes a book about Princess Diana (or The Kennedy's for that matter) and state how difficult she was to work for, it makes the cover story of "Entertainment Tonight" and everyone hates the author for commiting such a hateful crime against such an enduring personality. However it's okay to call a "latina" woman who was just as charismatic and lovely a prostitute and murderer without having the slightest shred of evidence. Eva Peron slept with no more people than Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Jean Harlow (and I can name several other's) all who have had several husbands, lovers and abortions.
Maria Eva Duarte de Peron's sudden rise from childhood poverty to becoming one of the world's most powerful woman, made her a hero to some, a power hungry villain to others. The woman remains controversial. Was she a Saint or a Sinner? Good or Bad? Was she the Savior to Argentina's "shirtless" ones or a Monstrous dictator to the Well-to-do? People will just have to come up with their own conclusions but having studied the subject for over 12 years now, I will say this. Both Peronist and Anti-Peronist agree- the woman was an enigma, a paradox. So we will never know the whole truth.
However the facts should be noted. Her foundation built several hundred schools (some historians state over 1000), several hospitals (some historians state over 100), thousands of homes for the poor, several orphanages, old age homes, shelters for runaway girls, shelters for unwed mothers, a complete miniature village for children, youth hostels and holiday retreats for lower income families all between 1948-1952. She also sent first-aid and blood plasma to countries outside of Argentina's borders such as Peru, Turkey and even the US. Health care became free to the poor and the mortality rates among children DECREASED and many diseases such as cholera and TB were reduced also. Why? Because they were finally receiving health care for the first time.
She also sat in her office for 15 hours a day receiving the poor up until the last year of her life. She would visit shanty towns and personally give out food, sugar or a bottle of cider. She would travel by train to the farthest corners of Argentina and visit forgotten and neglected country towns and offer food, medicine and free physical check-ups. She would pick up homeless people off the streets and take them back, in her limousine, to the residential palace where she would bathe them and feed them. Many have laughed at the idea of Eva Peron being referred to as "Santa Evita" (Saint Evita) but the above accomplishments are the reasons as to why so many thought of her as a holy emissary of God.
I can't think of another EVIL person who did so much to help the downtrodden.
People may call her a thief for using public funds but EVERYONE saw where the money went. Even afer Peron's downfall, the military governments that followed them tried unsuccessfully to wipe out her establishments but THEY COULD NOT because THERE WERE TOO MANY.
Even several decades after Eva's death (as late as 1974), warehouses were being discovered in Argentina that contained thousands and thousands of materials that Eva had purchased through her foundation such as cooking pots, tennis rackets and bed sheets for the poor.
The military dictatorships that followed were successful in destroying SOME of her works. For example, Many children died from Polio epidemics because the military government destroyed or locked up the iron lungs that Eva's Foundation had acquired and thousands of bottles of blood were also destroyed just because they had the name FUNDACION EVA PERON. They also destroyed several of her hospitals simply because they had her name, EVA PERON plastered on them.
What Eva did is no different from what industrialized nations do now. Charge tax. Here in Ontario, Canada the Government takes a large chunk out of every paycheck and charges 15 percent on everything with the exception of cheap foods. Eva took from those who had it and distributed it to those who needed it and as I mentioned above, her money was used to build THOUSANDS of establishments. Some are still standing to this very day.
I am latin. I'm from Argentina's next door neighbour Chile and I know how things down in South America work. It's all class divided and to think that Eva DIDN'T get stepped upon or insulted or treated like a third-rate individual is being ignorant because even today (and we are talking 50 years later), people who are LOWER-CLASS are viewed upon with scorn. It must have been one thousand times worse back in the 30's and 40's. It was not Eva's fault that she was born out of wedlock; it was not her fault that she was born poor and it was not her fault that she was born a woman in a country where she should have been born a man.
To state that Eva had this DEEP hatred of the rich because she was born poor is also an incorrect statement. It is correct that Evita despised them as much as they despised her but to cite that as the only reason for her motivation is groundless. The Oligarchy were the first TO THROW dirt on Eva's face when she became the First Lady. She could do no right and she NEVER would have been accepted because she was not OF them. She came from the slums and tainted blood ran through her veins and therefore they could NOT stand her. What made Eva even more unbearable was the fact that SHE DIDN'T care how they felt about her.
Eva threw the dirt right back in their faces and rightly so. From then on it became a war of the classes and a war of the sexes.
They're the ones who created her and they have no one but themselves to blame if there class was subjected to ridicule during her reign. Should we blame Eva for acting the way she did? We can but I, for one, would personally give her a medal if she were alive today.
And if we can criticize Eva for refusing to be treated inhumanely. Well then, what about criticizing the Oligarchy who for centuries have exploited those who were not born into grand luxury and into their social position.
If people want to get into Argentine history, why don't you disect and criticize the NON-PERONIST administrations and see if they were any better? Talk about their mis-management of Argentina and the corruption and torture of not just the nation but of it's people also.
You want to talk about evil and corrupt? Do you think the Oligarchy-run governments BEFORE Peron were any better? They were times where the only ones who prospered were those few fortunate ones that owned homes the size of shopping malls and property the size of small countries and had numerous swiss bank accounts while the rest of the population struggled with high unemployment, lived in squalor and a high percentage of children suffered from malnutrition. Even before Evita came into the scene the entire country was in chaos as evidenced by the constant riots, strikes and political and social unrest.
How about the military dictatorships that followed Peron?
How about Videla's Argentina during the late 70's and early 80's where people were systematically locked up, tortured and visciously executed? 20 years later and there are still 30 thousand Argentinians who are not accounted for and in the long lengthy list of the "disaparecidos".
Or how about critizing several US presidents who were just as corrupt. In the 50's the US helped overthrow the president of Guatemala to protect their business interest and the same happened in Chile in 73 when the US helped de-thrown Allende and put Pinochet in power.
Or how about the current administrations in power as we speak?
And as far as the accusations of Eva being responsible for the attrocities commited by the state police during the first Peronist Period, all I have to say is this:
If you are going to accuse someone of murder and torture, have the evidence to back up your claims. Even Mary Main, one of Eva's FIRST HOSTILE biographers stated in her book "The Woman With the Whip" that "THERE IS NO PROOF".
Notable historians of Eva Peron (the one's I listed above) have ALL denounced this book. And just as an FYI, Mary Main was a rich Anglo-Argentine (one of the very people that despised Eva Peron) who used the OPPOSITION as her informants and her book (although well written) is a malicious, anti-Peronist view of Eva's life and it's not surprising that Tim Rice would call this "a Superb biography".
And NO ONE can claim that police corruption DOES NOT EXIST in their country. Are we to blame our nation's leaders for the attrocities alot of these policemen commit?
Not ONE notable historian (KEY WORDS: Notable historian) has EVER accused Eva Peron of being responsible for any acts of torture ever commited to her country man.
Did the police outstep their boundaries in some occasions? Absolutely. Was Eva Peron somehow involved? If someone has ACTUAL proof, please advise because out of ALL the biographies I own and I own (TOO) many, not ONE notable historian has ever or WILL EVER accuse her of such heinous acts. End of story.
Of course everyone's entitled to their opinion and I'm entitled to mine. I just felt the need to respond only because there is so much mis-information about this woman out there. This also illustrates the passions Eva inspires in certain individuals. Many people (like many of the posters here) hate her and many others like me, crown her as one of the greatest woman who ever walked the earth.
All of the well researched (KEYWORD: RESEARCHED!!)and accurately documented biographies ALL portray her as a woman who may have had her faults but who did incredibly good things in an incredibly short amount of time.
And in response to the posts labelling her as a NAZI sympathizer:
People have been accusing EVITA of being a NAZI sympathizer since the dawn of time and the only evidence they had was some document that has since been disproved since it was a FORGERY and it was dated 1941-43. A time when Peron and Eva had never seen or heard of each other. Peron at the time wasn't even in the country and Eva Duarte was still an aspiring radio star.
Several historian have stated Eva Peron was "ignorant" about the attrocities commited by the NAZI's (as were many Argentinians at the time) and it wasn't until 1947, when she attended The National Federation of Resistance Deportees in France did she finally get a look at the realities and cruelties commited by the NAZI's.
And just as an FYI Joseph Page, author of one of the most comprehensive biographies of Peron and who also wrote an introduction to the 1996 edition of EVITA: IN HER OWN WORDS wrote:
"The original source of this (NAZI) myth was a book written by an anti-Peronist politician and supposedly based on German documents discovered immediately after the war. Other writers revived the allegations in the 1970's. The basis for the myth is clearly FALSE."
I am not an admirer of Peron but of Eva and my original post was not to defend him, but his wife who has been, since the time she graced the world stage, put under a microscope to showcase her faults as a woman and as a human being despite the fact that many of the accusations geared towards her, according to MANY historians, are groundless and false.
I am not defending Peron or his policies but I will say this in his defence:
To compare Peron with Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin is pretty ridiculous since Peron never killed anyone according to his biographers. His regime may have had some oppressive qualities and many opponents were jailed during his reign but to compare him with dictators who have been responsible for THOUSANDS and in some instances, MILLIONS and MILLIONS of deaths is ignorant.
Peron himself stated “I never killed anyone, no one died with their shoes on”. And biographer Clive Foss also stated in his book “Peron did not kill his enemy’s”. Joseph Page also clearly states in his well documented account that there were NO concentration camps in Peron's Argentina. Period. (Try telling that to people on these boards.) Also biographers Nicholas Fraser, Maryssa Navarro, Robert Crasweller and Joseph Page have all written in-depth and well researched biographies of the man and treat him not as a viscious monster but as a political leader and is given the type of treatment hardly be-fitting monsters such as Stalin, Hitler, Franco and Mussolini.
All of Peron's biographers (and I am referring to those who have spent a lifetime researching the man, Evita and Peronism and not those who use yellow journalism as their source of reference) have all stated on record that Peron did not adapt murder as a way of governing. Peron even referred to himself as a "vegetarian lion".
The military governments that followed Peron were the ones who've been responsible for thousands of innocent deaths. Right after Peron's downfall in 1955 the new military government that took over ruthlessly executed 27 PERONISTA'S (PERONISTS) simply because they were PERONISTA'S. Why aren't they being condemned?
Anyone interested in a good well researched biography of Eva or Peronism in general, the authors/historians I noted above have all written excellent books on the subject. People should not take the Webber/Rice musical as a history lesson because like one historian stated when referring to EVITA- the musical: "..that malicious, one-sided musical. As theatre, it is arresting. As history, it is false."
Last edited by Fabian on Wed Mar 22, 2006 2:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.