The Woman with the Whip
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The Woman with the Whip is a 1952 biography of political leader Eva Perón, the First Lady and Spiritual Leader of the Nation of Argentina. Published in England and the United States shortly after Eva Perón's death, it was the first critical biography of Eva Perón to be published and, despite some criticism that it is lacking in historical value, has been promoted by anti-Peronists. The book is thought to be the basis for the Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice musical Evita. However, the book was never officially credited as such, and Rice incorporated many other historical materials as background.
This book was not initially published in Argentina, because Juan Perón, Eva Perón's husband and the President of Argentina, was still in power at the time of publication. The author, Mary Main, used the pseudonym "María Flores" in the initial publication. Only after the Webber/Rice musical came to fame in the 1970s was the book published with Mary Main's real name.
Born in Argentina, Mary Main was "the product of a finishing school in England" and moved to the United States in 1941. She returned to Buenos Aires to write The Woman with the Whip but "never met Evita" and "conducted her interviews in secret". She has never documented her sources and much of what she claims in her work has long since been disproven.
According to Marysa Navarro, author of the biography Evita: The Real Lives of Eva Perón, Mary Main's book lacks any real historical references or serious research. Navarro argues the book ignores the political, social and economical causes of Peronism and the previous periods.
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