"God and Trujillo": Literary and Cultural Representations of the Dominican Dictator (review)
A large body of works on the Dominican dictator Rafael Leo´nidas Trujillo Molina (1891–1961) went largely unknown in its breadth and multiform complexity, at least outside certain literary circles, until the appearance of this significant 2005 study by Ignacio Lo´pez-Calvo. Lo´pez-Calvo describes the scope of his book in these terms: ‘‘Besides contributing to the rescue of the voices of numerous Dominican authors and testimonialists from oblivion, this study adds further insight into the lasting effects Trujillo’s ironclad rule had on the Dominican psyche, on the formation of the Dominican nation, and on the contemporary political arena’’ (xv). Such insights are substantiated by the book’s astounding catalog of atrocities committed under the aegis of the dictatorship, whose monstrous abuses were masked in general by the regime’s own ‘‘extreme style’’ but also justified, perhaps most notably, in the invocation of the providential principle ‘‘God and Trujillo’’ by ‘‘first courtesan’’ and heir to the Trujillist legacy, Joaquı´n Balaguer.
This book review is from Hispanic Review 75 (2007): 209–213. Posted with permission.