Anthropologist Luciano (American Univ. of Kuwait) presents an insightful ethnography detailing the struggles of local residents of Machu Picchu Sanctuary (Peru) regarding neoliberal reform within the World Heritage Site. He gives voice to the residents living adjacent to the site as they fight for matters of politics that center on belonging, recognition, and participation in the site’s economy. Luciano does a fascinating job conveying how locals do not feel they own the land and have little say in how Machu Picchu should be managed. In the author’s words, his focus is to “bring to life the actions and struggles of the people involved … in a shift towards free-market policies and privatization … and to provide a case study of identity in the Andes drawn into a process of dispossession under state and market forces.” The text, focusing on shared narratives of inhabitants, comprises seven chapters examining the overlapping of spaces, public goods, private interests, stigmatized identities, power struggles, protests, memories of violence, and the impacts of tourism. Libraries with anthropological reserves focusing on World Heritage Sites, tourism, and Latin America should have a copy of this work.
Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above.