Juan E. De Castro
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Public Intellectual in Neoliberal Latin America
The University of Arizona Press
Mario Vargas Llosa has enjoyed considerable influence in the political arena, thanks in no small part to his run for the Peruvian presidency in 1990. Though he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2010 for his literary achievements, he is as well known in the Spanish-speaking world for his political columns as his novels. In his widely syndicated columns, Vargas Llosa asserts a “liberal” position, in the classical sense of affirming the importance of a free market and individual rights, though he has often aligned himself with groups that emphasize the former at the expense of the latter. While his early literary output seemed to proclaim an allegiance with the Left, Vargas Llosa took a right turn that Juan E. De Castro argues was anticipatory and representative of the Latin American embrace of the free market in the 1990s. Thus, Vargas Llosa’s political thought provides a key for understanding social and cultural shifts that have taken place throughout Latin America.
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