Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination

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Foreword by Michael Greenberg

Afterword by Ricardo Piglia

Translated by Daniella Gitlin

Available for the first time in English: a game-changing classic of true crime from Argentina, 1957, by a Latin American literary hero whose courage to find the truth eventually condemned him to death.

Buenos Aires, 1956. Argentina has just lost its charismatic president Juan Perón in a military coup, and terror reigns across the land. June 1956: 18 people are reported dead in a "secret" execution, a failed uprising. December 1956: high school dropout, sometime journalist, detective story writer, unpoliticized chess aficionado Rodolfo Walsh learns by chance that one of the executed civilians is alive. He hears that there may be more than one survivor. Walsh hears an unbelievable story and believes it on the spot. And right there, the monumental classic Operation Massacre is born.

Walsh made it his mission to find not only the survivors but widows, orphans, conspirators, political refugees, fugitives, alleged informers, and anonymous heroes, in order to find out what happened that night, sending him on a journey that took over the rest of his life.

Originally published in 1957, Operation Massacre thoroughly and breathlessly recounts the night of the execution and its fallout.

Appendices include Walsh's famous “Open Letter from a Writer to the Military Junta,” which he sent to the country's major newspapers one day before he was kidnapped and killed in 1977.

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“A mesmerizing, prophetic tour de force of investigative journalism exposing the pervasive thuggishness of the Argentine military elite. A chilling, lucid work, beautifully translated by Gitlin, which serves as a great example of journalistic integrity.”

“A captivating and clear-eyed account”

“Finally, this classic of Latin American literature is available in English! Walsh not only exposes a terrible crime with precise and haunting prose, but establishes, many years before Capote and Mailer, a whole new genre of personal investigative journalism that transcends its immediate circumstances.”

“I've read nothing like it. . . Fifty-six years on, this remains journalism at its most incandescently brave.”

“All of [Walsh's] work demonstrates...his commitment to reality, his almost implausible analytical talent, his personal bravery, and his political ferocity.”

“Rodolfo Walsh’s work perfectly synthesized the most hard-hitting journalism with literature of the highest caliber. His example of adeptness and dignity in literary reportage lives on beyond his death at the hands of a military dictatorship.”

blog — November 15

Books That Shook the World: A November Promotion in Partnership with Indie Bookstores!

In the age of online retailers and large corporate bookstores, independent booksellers can find themselves struggling to keep up. That’s why Seven Stories Press is partnering with indie bookstores for a series of new promotions to encourage readers to buy our books in ways that benefit both booksellers and publishers. The collaboration began in August, with Seven Stories offering indie bookstores a unique discount on a collection of seven themed titles. The first two collections were “For Human Rights, Against War” and “Women in Translation.” The same collections were also featured on the Seven Stories website.

To go with the featured collections, Seven Stories is holding a book display contest, in which indie booksellers compete to construct the best display showcasing the featured titles. Each winner is selected by the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association (NAIBA) and awarded $300. The wonderful winner from our first display, Curious Iguana in Frederick, MD, is featured in the photo above.

This initiative sprang from the question of how independent publishers can leverage their web presence in a way that also benefits independent booksellers. Eileen Dengler, the executive director of NAIBA, and Todd Dickinson, NAIBA’s president and the co-owner of his own indie bookstore, both believe that Seven Stories’s promotional indie partnership is a crucial first step to addressing this question.

Dan Simon, the founder of Seven Stories Press, said the idea for the promotion and contest materialized through conversations with Dengler and Dickinson about ways that publishers can support indies through their approaches to online sales. Dickinson said that of all the publishers NAIBA spoke with about possible partnership, Seven Stories “came back the strongest” and “were the most interested in developing some sort of pilot program” to support indies. Simon acknowledges that the promotional program may adapt over time, but he, Dickinson, and Dengler are confident that the collaboration will have a positive impact on indie booksellers.

From November 15th to November 22nd, seven “Books that Shook the World” will be featured on the Seven Stories website with a special offer: buy three of these books, and receive a fourth free. Just email sevenstories@sevenstories.com with your first and last name, and the book you would like sent for free. We'll verify that you bought three books already, and then get your fourth one in the mail!

This collection includes The Hite Report, Operation Massacre, Profit Over People, Z, The Man with the Golden Arm, Human Rights Watch’s World Report 2018, and Nuestros Cuerpos, Nuestras Vidas. Whether conducting in-depth research on little-explored topics, chronicling individuals’ journeys to expose injustices, or turning a spotlight on the issues facing overlooked communities, these books are united by a shared dedication to exposing important truths about the world—and they’re not afraid to shake up the status quo in the process.

Any book purchased through the Seven Stories website comes with a free e-book version, and anyone purchasing one of the titles from an independent bookseller can also get a free e-book by emailing a photo of their receipt to sevenstories@sevenstories.com. For booksellers competing in the November book display contest, submit a picture of the display to NAIBAeileen@gmail.com by 12/3/2018. This promotion is a great opportunity to discover your next favorite book, and to support the many indie booksellers committed to supplying us all with great works of literature.

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The grandson of Irish immigrants, Rodolfo Walsh was born in a small town in Patagonia in 1927. He wrote crime fiction and worked as a translator before publishing Operación Masacre in 1957. Walsh then traveled to Cuba in the midst of the revolution and launched a newspaper in collaboration with Gabriel García Márquez, among others. Upon his return to Argentina in 1961 he was shunned by the journalistic community for his connections to the Cuban Revolution. In 1972, Walsh updated Operación Masacre for the fourth and final time before joining the radical leftist group, the Montoneros, the following year. A day after submitting his now famous 1977 Open Letter from a Writer to the Military Junta, Walsh was gunned down in the street by agents of the state.