The Pennsylvania State University
Cover for the book The Fourth Enemy

The Fourth Enemy

Journalism and Power in the Making of Peronist Argentina, 1930–1955 James Cane
  • Copyright: 2011
  • Dimensions: 6 x 9
  • Page Count: 328 pages
  • Illustrations: 14 b&w illustrations
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-271-04876-5
  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-271-04877-2
“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.”
“In this book, James Cane examines one of the most controversial aspects of Juan Perón’s government in the 1940s and 1950s: his control of the press. Perón’s strategy, Cane convincingly argues, was actually the culmination of political practices initiated in the 1930s and of a process triggered by the modernization of the printed press. This is a significant contribution to Argentine cultural and political history.”

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.

James Cane is Associate Professor of Latin American History at the University of Oklahoma.


List of Illustrations

Preface and Acknowledgments


Introduction: From Fourth Estate to Fourth Enemy

Part 1

1 The Fourth Estate

2 Journalism and Power in the Impossible Republic

Part 2

3 The Triumph of Silence

4 Journalism as Labor Power

5 Scenes from the Press Wars

Part 3

6 The Die Is Cast

7 The Fourth Enemy

Conclusion: Journalism and Power in the New Argentina




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Updated and Revised Edition