Introduction

Eva Perón is one of modern history’s most fascinating and controversial women, and Nicholas Fraser and Marysa Navarro’s Eva Perón, a narrative of her turbulent life, seldom strays far from its central character. The exceptions to this tight focus are chapter 2, “Buenos Aires,” which provides a discussion of the cultural environment of the Argentine capital in the 1930’s, and chapter 7, “The New Argentina,” which is a description of Juan Perón’s political and economic programs. The authors have included photographs of the highly photogenic Eva that reflect her public image as a glamorous, magnetic woman who captured the loyalty of her followers. The notes at the end of the text list the books and articles that the authors consulted as well as their interviews with many people who knew Perón.

Fraser and Navarro’s text carries Perón from birth to death in chronological sequence. The first chapter describes her family’s survival on the edge of poverty. Chapters 3 through 5 trace her meteoric rise to fame: from her early disappointments on stage and radio, to her success as a dramatic actress on radio, to her meeting and liaison with Colonel Juan Perón, and, finally, to their sudden emergence as national political figures and their marriage in 1945. By 1946, the twenty-seven-year-old Perón was the wife of the president of Argentina.

Perón’s high visibility in public gave her a political power unmatched by any woman in...

(The entire section is 426 words.)