The Invention of the Jewish Gaucho
Villa Clara and the Construction of Argentine Identity
206 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in
Sales Date: December 1, 2009
206 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in
By the mid-twentieth century, Eastern European Jews had become one of Argentina's largest minorities. Some represented a wave of immigration begun two generations before; many settled in the province of Entre Ríos and founded an agricultural colony. Taking its title from the resulting hybrid of acculturation, The Invention of the Jewish Gaucho examines the lives of these settlers, who represented a merger between native cowboy identities and homeland memories.
The arrival of these immigrants in what would be the village of Villa Clara coincided with the nation's new sense of liberated nationhood. In a meticulous rendition of Villa Clara's social history, Judith Freidenberg interweaves ethnographic and historical information to understand the saga of European immigrants drawn by Argentine open-door policies in the nineteenth century and its impact on the current transformation of immigration into multicultural discourses in the twenty-first century. Using Villa Clara as a case study, Freidenberg demonstrates the broad power of political processes in the construction of ethnic, class, and national identities. The Invention of the Jewish Gaucho draws on life histories, archives, material culture, and performances of heritage to enhance our understanding of a singular population—and to transform our approach to social memory itself.
- Foreword by June Nash
- Preface: The Story behind the Story
- Chapter 1. Social Memory as Part of Villa Clara's History
- Chapter 2. Entre Ríos, Mi País: Immigrants Becoming Argentine in a Province
- Chapter 3. Colonia Clara and the Emergence of the "Jewish Gauchos" (1892-1902)
- Chapter 4. From Jewish Gauchos to Gaucho Jews: Regional Economic Development and Intercultural Relations at the End of the Nineteenth Century
- Chapter 5. The Rise and Demise of Jewish Villa Clara (1902-1930s)
- Chapter 6. Rural Depopulation and the Emergence of a Multiethnic and Socially Stratified Landscape in Villa Clara (1940s-1990s)
- Chapter 7. The Present as Politicized Past: Legitimizing Social Structure through Heritage (1990s-2000s)
- Epilogue: The Jewish Gaucho Revisited
- Appendix I: Methodological Notes
- Appendix II: Chronology of Relevant Events in Villa Clara
- Glossary of Terms
The publication of The Invention of the Jewish Gaucho was made possible by the support of the Jewish History, Life, and Culture Endowment.