The Fourth Enemy

Journalism and Power in the Making of Peronist Argentina, 19301955

By (author) James Cane

Hardback - £65.95

Publication date:

17 January 2012

Length of book:

328 pages


Penn State University Press

ISBN-13: 9780271048765

The rise of Juan Perón to power in Argentina in the 1940s is one of the most studied subjects in Argentine history. But no book before this has examined the role the Peronists’ struggle with the major commercial newspaper media played in the movement’s evolution, or what the resulting transformation of this industry meant for the normative and practical redefinition of the relationships among state, press, and public. In The Fourth Enemy, James Cane traces the violent confrontations, backroom deals, and legal actions that allowed Juan Domingo Perón to convert Latin America’s most vibrant commercial newspaper industry into the region’s largest state-dominated media empire. An interdisciplinary study drawing from labor history, communication studies, and the history of ideas, this book shows how decades-old conflicts within the newspaper industry helped shape not just the social crises from which Peronism emerged, but the very nature of the Peronist experiment as well.

“Rather than simply using newspapers as a window onto public opinion, James Cane’s book does something far more intriguing. It explores how the very notion of ‘the press’ became an object of political contestation in mid-twentieth-century Argentina and, in so doing, forces us to reconsider familiar debates over freedom of expression and state censorship. This fascinating historical study provides the basis for a deeper understanding of present-day controversies over populism and media regulation in Latin America.”

—Eduardo Elena, University of Miami