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Central America

Central America Book List

Cover of 'Captured Peace'

Captured Peace
Elites and Peacebuilding in El Salvador
By Christine J. Wade

The most comprehensive, up-to-date book on Salvadoran politics of the last twenty-five years.

Cover of 'Populist Seduction in Latin America'

Populist Seduction in Latin America
By Carlos de la Torre

Is Latin America experiencing a resurgence of leftwing governments, or are we seeing a rebirth of national-radical populism? Are the governments of Hugo Chávez, Evo Morales, and Rafael Correa becoming institutionalized as these leaders claim novel models of participatory and direct democracy? Or are they reenacting older traditions that have favored plebiscitary acclamation and clientelist distribution of resources to loyal followers?

Cover of 'Feminism and the Legacy of Revolution'

Feminism and the Legacy of Revolution
Nicaragua, El Salvador, Chiapas
By Karen Kampwirth

In many Latin American countries, guerrilla struggle and feminism have been linked in surprising ways. Women were mobilized by the thousands to promote revolutionary agendas that had little to do with increasing gender equality. They ended up creating a uniquely Latin American version of feminism that combined revolutionary goals of economic equality and social justice with typically feminist aims of equality, nonviolence, and reproductive rights.

Winner of 2002 Costa Rican National Monograph Award
Cover of 'Threatening Others'

Threatening Others
Nicaraguans and the Formation of National Identities in Costa Rica
By Carlos Sandoval-Garcia

During the last two decades, a decline in public investment has undermined some of the national values and institutions of Costa Rica. The resulting sense of dislocation and loss is usually projected onto Nicaraguan “immigrants.” Threatening Others: Nicaraguans and the Formation of National Identities in Costa Rica explores the representation of the Nicaraguan “other” in the Costa Rican imagery.

Cover of 'Taking Root'

Taking Root
Narratives of Jewish Women in Latin America
Edited by Marjorie Agosín

In Taking Root, Latin American women of Jewish descent, from Mexico to Uruguay, recall their coming of age with Sabbath candles and Hebrew prayers, Ladino songs and merengue music, Queen Esther and the Virgin of Guadalupe. Rich and poor, Sephardi and Ashkenazi, Jewish immigrant families searched for a new home and identity in predominantly Catholic societies.

Cover of 'Beyond the Barricades'

Beyond the Barricades
Nicaragua and the Struggle for the Sandinista Press, 1979–1998
By Adam Jones

Throughout the 1980s, Barricada, the official daily newspaper of the ruling Sandinista Front, played the standard role of a party organ, seeking the mobilize the Nicaraguan public to support the revolutionary agenda. Beyond the Barricades, however, reveals a story that is both more intriguing and much more complex.

Cover of 'Terror in the Countryside'

Terror in the Countryside
Campesino Responses to Political Violence in Guatemala, 1954–1985
By Rachel A. May

The key to democratization lies within the experience of the popular movements. Those who engaged in the popular struggle in Guatemala have a deep understanding of substantive democratic behavior, and the experience of Guatemala's civil society should be the cornerstone for building a meaningful formal democracy. In Terror in the Countryside Rachel May offers an in-depth examination of the relationship between political violence and civil society.

Cover of 'Managing the Counterrevolution'

Managing the Counterrevolution
The United States and Guatemala, 1954–1961
By Stephen M. Streeter

The Eisenhower administration's intervention in Guatemala is one of the most closely studied covert operations in the history of the Cold War. Yet we know far more about the 1954 coup itself than its aftermath. This book uses the concept of “counterrevolution” to trace the Eisenhower administration's efforts to restore U.S. hegemony in a nation whose reform governments had antagonized U.S. economic interests and the local elite. Comparing the Guatemalan case to U.S.-sponsored

Cover of 'Peasants in Arms'

Peasants in Arms
War and Peace in the Mountains of Nicaragua, 1979–1994
By Lynn Horton

Drawing on testimonies from contra collaborators and ex-combatants, as well as pro-Sandinista peasants, this book presents a dynamic account of the growing divisions between peasants from the area of Quilalí who took up arms in defense of revolutionary programs and ideals such as land reform and equality and those who opposed the FSLN.

Cover of 'Panamanian Militarism'

Panamanian Militarism
A Historical Interpretation
By Carlos Guevara Mann

Carlos Guevara Mann argues that Panamanian militarism, a consequence of the breakdown of legitimacy that occurred in the early nineteenth century, is more a manifestation of a deeply-rooted political tradition than an isolated phenomenon of the late twentieth century. He examines the variable US policy approach to domestic stability with the overall context of US hegemony in the isthmus and its shaping of Panamanian militarism.

Cover of 'Theory in the Practice of the Nicaraguan Revolution'

Theory in the Practice of the Nicaraguan Revolution
By Bruce E. Wright

Even in the period following the electoral defeat of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) in 1990, the revolution of 1979 continues to have a profound effect on the political economy of Nicaragua.

Cover of 'Perspectives on War and Peace in Central America'

Perspectives on War and Peace in Central America
Edited by Sung Ho Kim and Thomas W. Walker

This volume records the perspectives of a highly diverse group of prominent individuals who met late in 1988 in an important international symposium concerned with the continuing conflicts in Central America.

Cover of 'Formerly British Honduras'

Formerly British Honduras
A Profile of the New Nation of Belize
By William David Setzerkorn

William Setzekorn weaves the folklore, facts, history, culture, economics and geography of Belize into an exciting mini-encyclopedia. His portrait of this proud new nation is painted with humor, gentleness, fact and empathy presenting a credible picture of modern day Belize. Reading with the ease and excitement of a novel it is more than a history book, a travelog or an encyclopedia giving the reader a feeling of kinship with the struggles and joy of this tiny new nation.