Rigoberta Menchú is a living legend, a young woman who said that her odyssey from a Mayan Indian village to revolutionary exile was "the story of all poor Guatemalans." By turning herself into an everywoman, she became a powerful symbol for 500 years of indigenous resistance to colonialism. Her testimony, I, Rigoberta Menchú, denounced atrocities by the Guatemalan army and propelled her to the 1992 Nobel Peace Prize. But her story was not the eyewitness account that she claimed. In this hotly debated book, key points of which have been corroborated by the New York Times, David Stoll compares a cult text with local testimony from Rigoberta Menchú's hometown. His reconstruction of her story goes to the heart of debates over political correctness and identity politics and provides a dramatic illustration of the rebirth of the sacred in the postmodern academy.
This expanded edition includes a new foreword from Elizabeth Burgos, the editor of I, Rigoberta Menchú, as well as a new afterword from Stoll, who discusses Rigoberta Menchú's recent bid for the Guatemalan presidency and addresses the many controversies and debates that have arisen since the book was first published.
David Stoll teaches anthropology at Middlebury College. His other books include Is Latin America Turning Protestant? and Between Two Armies in the Ixil Towns of Guatemala.
"More than an expose or refutation, Stoll's account presents an increasingly complex -- and I think ultimately sympathetic -- portrait of an exceptional, eloquent individual caught up in personal and historical tragedies doing her best to maintain her integrity. The strength of this book lies not in its refutation of Rigoberta Menchúu's story but in its inquiry into what the instant worldwide appeal of her autobiography tells us about how we choose to understand recent Guatemalan history, Guatemalan society, and more generally, revolutionary struggle and authenticity in the voice of others." John Watanabe, Darmouth College
"The rule of all sociological studies should be a simple one: no icons. Not Karl Marx; not Max Weber (sigh); not Michel Foucault; not anyone. Rigoberta Menchú should not be an exception. This book is going to explode over Guatemalan and Latin American Studies." Timothy Wickham-Crowley, Georgetown University