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Phantoms of modernity: the 1894 anarchist furor in the making of modern Guatemala City


Following a spate of anarchist bombings and assassinations in Europe, the gente decente of Guatemala City began to describe local events using the language of anarchism. The 1894 anarchist furor spoke to two tendencies that had shaped Guatemala City since the 1870s. The first was the cosmopolitan desire of the gente decente. Facilitated by cosmopolitan bridge figures, trends and fashions from Europe and especially Paris shaped the cultural lexicon of Guatemala City's elite. Secondly, the anarchist furor reflected the misgivings of the gente decente toward urban disorder and malcontents as they conflated anarchism and anarchy.

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O. Peláez Almengor , El pequeño Paris (Guatemala, 2008)

D. Carey Jr, I Ask for Justice: Maya Women, Dictators, and Crime in Guatemala, 1898–1944 (Austin, 2013)

J.T. Way , The Mayan in the Mall: Globalization, Development, and the Making of Modern Guatemala (Durham, NC, 2012)

K.L. O'Neill and K. Thomas (eds.), Securing the City: Neoliberalism, Space, and Insecurity in Postwar Guatemala (Durham, NC, 2011)

D. Levenson , Adíos Niño: The Gangs of Guatemala City and the Politics of Death (Durham, NC, 2013)

S.F. Simon ’s classic ‘Anarchism and anarcho-syndicalism in South America’, Hispanic American Historical Review, 26 (1946), 3859

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Urban History
  • ISSN: 0963-9268
  • EISSN: 1469-8706
  • URL: /core/journals/urban-history
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