In This Review

Argentina's Lost Patrol: Armed Struggle, 1969-1979
Argentina's Lost Patrol: Armed Struggle, 1969-1979
By Maria Jose Moyano
Yale University Press, 1995, 226 pp

Moyano, an assistant professor in the Department of National Security Studies at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterrey, has produced an outstanding diagnosis of actions and psychology in the violent and bloody guerrilla struggle in 1970s Argentina, arguably the central element in understanding Argentinean politics over the past 20 years. She seeks to answer why "the Argentine guerrillas became the lost patrol," developing after 1973 a blind adherence to military as opposed to political strategies, rejecting compromise, and increasingly isolating themselves from the political and social context. The history of Argentina's dirty war is a many-sided story, and Moyano provides an important contribution to its ongoing and painful revelation. Guerrilla tactics, she argues "not only provoked extreme extralegal action; they also helped to legitimize it." Her quest for answers involves a fascinating journey into the guerrilla movement based on extensive confidential interviews with former guerrillas as well as military figures. Elegantly written, sensitive to Argentine history and guerrilla movements elsewhere in the world.