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Corrupt Circles: A History of Unbound Graft in Peru

New Book Published by Woodrow Wilson Center Press Reveals the Historically Ingrained Prevalence of Political Corruption in Peru

WASHINGTON—Woodrow Wilson Center Press has published a new book, Corrupt Circles: A History of Unbound Graft in Peru, by Alfonso W. Quiroz. It is copublished with the Johns Hopkins University Press.

As Peru prosecutes former president Alberto Fujimori and other alleged participants in state crimes, the country's longstanding culture of impunity is under attack, and the subject of corruption has acquired a new prominence, both in Peru and in Latin America more broadly. In Corrupt Circles Alfonso W. Quiroz gives a definitive and thorough history of Peruvian corruption that dates back to the country's colonial period. He demonstrates how corruption has been deeply embedded in Peru's state institutions, and he offers a comprehensive estimate of the costs of corruption to the country's development. Far from being a hidden crime, the author finds, corruption is well documented throughout Peru's history in the records of its opponents in government, journalism, and diplomacy. The pervasiveness of corruption has been aided by the readiness of both Peruvians and the international community to turn a blind eye.

Alfonso W. Quiroz is a professor of history at Baruch College and Graduate Center, City University of New York. He was a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center in 2002–3.

Corrupt Circles: A History of Unbound Graft in Peru is distributed by the Johns Hopkins University Press, available online at or by telephone at 1-800-537-5487. The list price is $65.00 for hardcover and $30.00 for paperback.

Woodrow Wilson Center Press publishes books by fellows, resident scholars, and staff written in substantial part at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Titles range from popular accounts of historical topics to fundamental reviews of scholarly fields to authoritative background on important policy issues. For more information about the Press, or to search its backlist of titles, please visit