Felipe Pigna


This is not a traditional book, the kind with a beginning and an end, that you read from first page to last like a novel or story collection although there's no reason you couldn't and enjoy yourself in the process. Neither is it a directory of the streets of Buenos Aires, a reference work you might use when you want to know how a street got its name. However, in the back you will find an alphabetical index featuring most of the streets should you want to find them. Finally, it's not a finished volume; it's a work in progress looking to go as far as it can.

Streets, getting lost and found in Argentine History is a miscellany, a collection of curiosities and little-known facts that can be read in several different ways at the same time. For one thing, it's a non-academic work that explores Argentine history through the names that adorn our urban landscape. For another, it's an introduction to how these names are chosen, providing answers to several familiar questions: Who has the most streets named after them, San Martin, Sarmiento or Christopher Columbus? Which are Peronists, which Radicals and which socialists? The internecine and foundational conflicts of the nation, as reflected in street names, offer an understanding of the political, economic and social decisions that still define Argentine society.

Finally, it's an opportunity to explore some little-known stories such as the tragedy of the Pallottine monks during the last military dictatorship, the melodramatic life of Eduardo Arolas and other characters who transformed our lives without our even knowing it such as the chemist Michael Faraday. As a bonus, there's also room for speculation about the streets that are yet to be named: will Diego Maradona be in La Paternal or La Boca?



Other titles from Felipe Pigna:

  • 1810

    NON FICTION, 2010

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