Mitma (1921-2016) was a Peruvian peasant organizer whose militancy intersected with local, national, and international political issues. Heilman (history, Univ. of Alberta) has made a significant contribution to the literature by bringing Mitma's story to a broad audience. Heilman characterizes the book as a “testimonial biography” that blends biography and testimony and incorporates interviews with Mitma as well as extensive archival research. Mitma emphasizes the importance of writing and legal documents to advance peasant struggles. His activism across the 20th century provides excellent insights into divides on the political Left. Most of the scholarly apparatus and historiographic discussion is limited to the endnotes, which means that the book works equally as well for general audiences or undergraduate classrooms as for specialists seeking thoughtful reflections on the political uses of identity. The book is part of the "Narrating Native Histories" series, which is dedicated to rethinking conceptual and methodological frameworks for understanding Native relations with nation-states, and in that it succeeds admirably. Pairs nicely with Juan Gregorio Palechor: The Story of My Life, by Myriam Jimeno, (CH, Sep'14, 52-0348), also in this series.
Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries.