Manuel González Prada was a powerful Peruvian writer and political reformer whose essays and speeches influenced generations of young radicals. He founded the Party of National Unity in 1891, was linked to the anarchist movement, and served as Director of the National Library from 1912-1914. His writings have had enormous impact on the literary and political life of Peru: taking up the defense of exploited indigenous people, broadsiding the landowning oligarchy, and denouncing the social and political errors of the country. In fact, the radical politics Prada advocated then are still alive and relevant today: Modernization (secularization) of Peru, transformation of a nation through its people, promotion of internationalism (universalism) versus overt patriotism (communitarianism), and condemnation of war.
This translation is based on the Obras of González Prada, edited by Luis Alberto Sánchez. It includes essays, speeches and polemical writings drawn from two of Prada's only books of prose published during his lifetime, Paginas Libres and Horas de Lucha, in addition to unpublished manuscripts and works previously printed in newspapers and magazines. His writings are gathered thematically under the subheadings "Peruvian Problems," "Anarchy," and "Philosophical, Literary, and Linguistic Problems."