Tainted testimony

Rigoberta Menchú and the Story of All Poor Guatemalens
By David Stoll. Westview, 336 pp.

When Rigoberta Menchú won the 1992 Nobel Peace Prize, many Guatemalans had never heard of her. Yet in the years leading up to the ceremony in Oslo, she had become well known abroad, mostly on the strength of her inspiring 1983 autobiographical testimony, I, Rigoberta Menchú. Based on a series of recorded conversations in Paris in 1982 with the leftist Venezuelan anthropologist Elisabeth Burgos-Debray, the book became a hit among solidarity activists and academics looking for a window into the life of an indigenous woman who had suffered at the hands of Latin America's homicidal military.


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