As Peru prosecutes former president Alberto Fujimori and other alleged participants in state crimes, the country’s longstanding culture of impunity is under attack, and the subject of corruption has acquired a new prominence, both in Peru and in Latin America more broadly.
In Corrupt Circles Alfonso W. Quiroz gives a definitive and thorough history of Peruvian corruption that dates back to the country’s colonial period. He demonstrates how corruption has been deeply embedded in Peru’s state institutions and has damaged the country’s prospects, and he offers a comprehensive estimate of the costs of corruption to the country’s development.
Far from being a hidden crime, the author finds, corruption is well documented throughout Peru’s history in the records of its opponents in government, journalism, and diplomacy. The pervasiveness of corruption has been aided by the readiness of both Peruvians and the international community to turn a blind eye.
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Alfonso W. Quiroz is a professor of history at Baruch College and Graduate Center, City University of New York. He was a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center in 2002–2003.Review:
There is no other systematic assessment of corruption for such a long time period for Peru or, to the best of my knowledge, any other Latin American country. Quiroz’s effort is monumental and unprecedented in its span of Peruvian history.(Cynthia McClintock, George Washington University)
The best of historical writing―clear, expository prose that combines analysis and narrative in an accessible, entertaining, and highly informative way.(Peter Klaren, George Washington University)
This is a substantial contribution to the understanding of corruption in Latin America.(Alvaro Vargas Llosa The Independent Institute)
Corrupt Circles combines different tools of economic, political, and historical analysis to identify the costs and consequences of corruption in a developing society. The book particularly adopts and applies recent methodological breakthroughs by economists who conceive corruption as an obstacle for overall development.,(Rorotoko)
This readable narrative provides a sense of the major commonalities and novelties in corruption dynamics from one era to the next in Peru... In a useful appendix, Quiroz estimates the costs of corruption from 1810 through 2000 in Peru... A welcome effort to chronicle corruption over time.(Choice)
Elegantly written and passionate... Corrupt Circles is more than a dry academic exercise.(Kendall W. Brown The Historian)
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