Books: La Presidenta

EVITA: FIRST LADY by John Barnes Grove; 195 pages; $8.95

During the 1940s one could tell the dictators and dictatees by their shirts. There were black ones for Mussolini's Fascists, brown ones for Hitler's National Socialists and a blousy peasant number that Joseph Stalin occasionally wore when he wanted to convince the world that he was just a country boy.

Argentina's Juan and Eva Perón gave a different wrinkle to the haberdashery of power. Although they dressed like Napoleon and Josephine, they identified themselves with the descamisados, the shirtless poor who supported Perón from 1946-55. It was a classic case of gilt by...

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