Revolutionizing Motherhood: The Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo

Marguerite Guzman Bouvard, Author, Marguerite Guzman Bouvard, Author Sr Books $77 (278p) ISBN 978-0-8420-2486-0
A group of ordinary Argentine women transformed by extraordinary events into a political force is the theme of this detailed study of human rights activism in Argentina. Bouvard's dense survey of the military junta and the Dirty War it waged in the late 1970s and early 1980s, during which tens of thousands disappeared, were kidnapped or were tortured, tells readers little that's been unreported. She charts new territory, however, in her meticulous and emotional recounting of how an informal group of working-class housewives banded together to seek their disappeared children. Her central thesis, that the Mothers have created a political role for maternity, is hammered home and supported with arguments from Hannah Arendt, but doesn't always convince. Bouvard counters criticism from some feminists that the Mothers cling to a maternal role and support a patriarchal structure, asserting that ``They have redefined the private and public spheres and sought to create a political space where the two combine in their organization and political agenda.'' Revolutionizing Motherhood isn't an unflinching homage to the courageous women. Bouvard serves up a few critical asides herself, noting a Cuban trip the Mothers took with a seemingly blind eye to alleged and documented human rights violations there, and she disparages the Mother's alliance with the Front for Human Rights, a group, she claims, which had ulterior motives and divergent political goals. (May)
Reviewed on: 01/01/2002
Release date: 01/01/2002
Paperback - 278 pages - 978-0-8420-2487-7
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