provocative symmetry in this memoir.rnHe writes of growing up in Peru and Bolivia,rnbringing his hfe up to the pointrnwhere he leaves for Europe at age 22, allrnthe while alternating chapters that coverrnhis candidacy for president of Peru inrn1990. Those chapters oi Bildungsromanrnor Kiinstlerroman offer us intimaternscenes of family life, albeit sometimes arntortured one, and, concurrently, a slice ofrnPeruvian social and political life, in Arcquiparnand Lima. Abandoned by hisrnfather before he was born, Vargas Llosarngrew up among his mother’s family, withrna grandfather and lots of uncles andrnaunts. He grew up that way until his father,rnwhom he had been told “was inrnheaven,” showed up when the boy wasrnabout 11 or 12.rnHe attributes his father’s rage at hisrnmother’s family to a feeling of social inferiority.rnEven though his father wasrnwhite and blue eyed, his family had fallenrneconomically to the point where better-rnoff whites, or “blancos,” thought ofrnthe fallen ones as “cholos,” or halfbreedsrnof mixed Spanish and Indian blood. Inrnother scenes we read of the childrenrnabandoned by servants and reared by hisrngrandfather’s family. Such evocations ofrnPeru’s parti-colored society find resonancernin the chapters about the presidentialrncampaign, in which one of the issuesrnfor some voters in regard to AlbertornFujimori—who subsequently won thernelection—^was the fact that he was bornrnof Japanese parents and “had none of hisrnpeople yet buried in Peru.”rnOther such resonances occur. For example,rnVargas Llosa writes of his Marxistrnphase, which seems to be an unfortunaternrite of passage for many young LatinrnAmericans. The underground CommunistrnParty made its secretive appearancernunder the name “Cahuide,” and he, arnstudent at the University of San Carlos,rnbecame a sympathizer, attended the requisiternsecret meetings, and was given thernname “Comrade Alberto.” He driftedrnaway from the Cahuide, the departurerncoincident with one of his cellmatesrnfalling in bourgeois love with a cellmaternwhom the author had secret feelingsrnabout. Besides giving us a look into thernmachinations of college-level, LatinrnMarxism, this section of the narrative familiarizesrnthe reader with some of thernpolitical parties in Peru that come tornbear on the 1992 election: APRA (AmericanrnPopular Revolutionary Alliance),rnUR (Revolutionary Union), the lUrn(United Left), which was a combine ofrnsocialists and communists, and, not incidentally,rnSendero Luminoso (ShiningrnPath).rnA minor confusion I had was overrnVargas’s opposition to “mercantilist capitalism,”rnwhen he seems to be such arnchampion of free enterprise. My initialrnresponse was, “What other kind isrnthere?” In other readings, I discoveredrnthe term has a technical meaning forrneconomists. At one point he describesrnthe “daily bread of mercantilism: importrnlicenses, tax exemptions, concessions,rnmonopolies, commissions, that entirerndiscriminatory framework that keep anrneconomy that is under government controlrnfunctioning.” To me, that soundsrnlike what businessmen have to gornthrough when a government attempts tornregulate everything, and not particularlyrnthe fault of “capitalism”; but at the samerntime, this description of what businessmenrnin Peru have to face is uncomfortablyrnsuggestive of the contortions Americanrnbusinessmen have to go through atrnall levels of government.rnWhat will interest Chronicles readersrnespecially are parts of Vargas’s economicrnprogram for Peru. It should be rememberedrnthat what started the novelist onrnhis candidacy for president was then-rnPresident Alan Carcia’s announcementrnthat he was going to nationalize thernbanks of the country. The subsequentrndemonstrations led by Vargas stoppedrnthat effort in its tracks. He describesrnthe themes of his early speeches in therncampaign:rnThe way out of poverty does notrnlie in redistributing the littlernwealth that exists but in creatingrnmore. And in order to do thatrnmarkets must be opened up, competitionrnand individual initiativernencouraged, private property notrnbe fought against but extended tornthe greatest number, our economyrnand our psychology taken out ofrnthe grip of the state, and the handoutrnmentality that expects everythingrnfrom the state replaced by arnmodern outlook that entrusts thernresponsibility for economic life torncivil society and the market.rnLater he was to use figures that demonstratedrnthat if all the assets of the hundredrnbiggest corporations in Peru wererndivided up, each citizen would get $56.rnIn another place Vargas observes thatrnthe economic policies that do work are:rnthe ones which, since they take intornaccount an inevitable inequalityrnbetween those who produce morernand those who produce less, lackrnthe intellectual and ethical fascinationrnthat has always surrounded socialism,rnand have been condemnedrnbecause they encourage the profitrnmotive. But egalitarian-orientedrneconomies based on solidarity havernnever raised a country out ofrnpoverty; they have impoverished itrneven further. And they havernfrequently limited freedoms orrncaused them to disappear altogether,rnsince egalitarianism requiresrnstrict planning, which starts out byrnbeing economic and graduallyrnspreads to the rest of life.rnWhile for many of us the recountingrnof recent Peruvian political history isrnfascinating enough, for others the storyrnreminds us of the peril we ourselves facernat this time in American history. Oncernin place, statism—the policy of concentratingrneconomic and political controlsrnin the state at the cost of individualrnliberty—is immensely difficult to dislodge,rnshort of revolution or a tediousrnsuicide.rnWilliam Mills is a novelist and poetrnwhose latest work of fiction isrnProperties of Blood (University ofrnArkansas Press).rnShakespeare,rnA Closet Catholic?rnby Michael D. AeschlimanrnThe Shakespeares and “The Old Faith”rnby ]ohn Henry de GrootrnFraser, Michigan: American Council onrnEconomics and Society;rn276 pp., $16.95rnFor the ongoing revolution againstrntraditional authority it is often difficultrnto know whom to blame the most,rnbut certainly the academic community’srnskepticism, suspicion, and mockery ofrntraditional values is one cause. Deconstructionistrnscholarship, ideologicallyrn”correct” teaching, and the habit of glibrn28/CHRONICLESrnrnrn