Warriors in Eden

Mariano Gagnon, Author, William Hoffer, With, Marilyn Mona Hoffer, With William Morrow & Company $23 (319p) ISBN 978-0-688-11796-2
In 1969 when Gagnon, an American Franciscan friar, began his missionary work among the Ashaninka tribe in the mountains of Peru, he hoped to help them become a thriving community while preserving their culture which was largely untouched by the 20th century. Two developments destroyed the mission compound--an influx of cocaine processors and attacks from the Marxist revolutionaries known as the Shining Path--and in 1990 forced evacuations of the 300 Ashaninka from their homeland. This cruel migration, led by Gagnon over unforgiving terrain and with great loss of lives, is the centerpiece of his book written with the Hoffers ( Midnight Express ). Because of his dedication to the Ashaninka, Gagnon confronted indifferent authority on every level: his religious superiors, the governmments of Peru and of the United States, which he suspects of covert activities in Peru. In a chaotic narrative that is at times confusing, we follow the inspiring steps of a ``pistol-packing padre'' who armed his friends for their survival. Photos not seen by PW. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/02/1993
Release date: 08/01/1993
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