Synopses & Reviews
This reader brings together more than 200 texts and images in a broad introduction to Guatemala's history, culture, and politics. In choosing the selections, the editors sought to avoid representing the country only in terms of its long experience of conflict, racism, and violence. And so, while offering many perspectives on that violence, this anthology portrays Guatemala as a real place where people experience joys and sorrows that cannot be reduced to the contretemps of resistance and repression. It includes not only the opinions of politicians, activists, and scholars, but also poems, songs, plays, jokes, novels, short stories, recipes, art, and photographs that capture the diversity of everyday life in Guatemala. The editors introduce all of the selections, from the first piece, an excerpt from the Popol Vuh, a mid-sixteenth-century text believed to be the single most important source documenting pre-Hispanic Maya culture, through the final selections, which explore contemporary Guatemala in relation to neoliberalism, multiculturalism, and the dynamics of migration to the United States and of immigrant life. Many pieces were originally published in Spanish, and most of those appear in English for the first time.
andldquo;The Guatemala Reader is captivating both because Guatemalan history is so compelling, and because the editors have done a fantastic job of choosing the texts and images to include. Their selections offer great variety in terms of vision, perspective, and genre, and their introductions to those pieces are uniformly superb.andrdquo;andmdash;Steve Striffler, co-editor of The Ecuador Reader
“I wish that I had found a book like this one thirty years ago, when I first came to Guatemala. This reader is a fresh and exciting constellation of documents, essays, investigations, real voices, and compelling visuals, its depth as multilayered as Guatemala itself. Anyone curious about the fascinating and complex land, the most populous in Central America, will find an incomparable introduction in The Guatemala Reader. Others will keep the collection close for reference and the sheer joy of reading.”—Mary Jo McConahay, author of Maya Roads: One Woman’s Journey Among the People of the Rainforest
andldquo;This excellent and comprehensive collection of historical and contemporary materials about Guatemala is a seminal addition to the literature. It is brilliantly put together and its usefulness is not only for students being introduced to that country but also as a reference source for Guatemalan scholars.andrdquo;andmdash;Beatriz Manz, author of Paradise in Ashes: A Guatemalan Journey of Courage, Terror, and Hope
andldquo;A lively, literate sourcebook on the politics, economy and society of Guatemala, with selections ranging from historical accounts to newspaper articles, essays, memoir excerpts and modern analysis. A volume the excellent series of Latin American Readers, aimed at students, travelers and scholars.andrdquo;
andldquo;With an appeal to travelers, students, and scholars, The Guatemala Reader is a useful volume. As an introduction to the country and its people, it drives home some of the stark realities behind its beautiful facade.andrdquo;
andldquo;This latest volume in Dukeandrsquo;s excellent Latin American Reader series brings us more than 200 texts and images from Guatemala providing a rounded introduction to this fascinating Central American countryandrsquo;s history and culture. It is the perfect point of departure from which to begin exploring this diverse and often troubled society, and Duke has also issued the weighty text as an e-book, a splendid idea for travellers armed just with a backpack and a reader that will provide them with a valuable resource without weighing them down on the wayandhellip;. But the menu is literally brimming with delicious fare and it is probably unfair to single out any section. Better, in fact, to get the book and read it from cover to cover.andrdquo;
An interdisciplinary anthology on the largest, most populous nation in Central America, covering Guatemalan history, culture, literature and politics and containing many primary sources not previously published in English.
About the Author
Greg Grandin is Professor of History at New York University and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is the author of Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Fordandrsquo;s Forgotten Jungle City, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in History.
Deborah T. Levenson is Associate Professor of History at Boston College and the author of Trade Unionists against Terror: Guatemala City, 1954andndash;1985 and Adiandoacute;s Niandntilde;o: Political Violence and the Gangs of Guatemala City, forthcoming from Duke University Press.
Elizabeth Oglesby is Associate Professor of Geography and Latin American Studies at the University of Arizona. She previously worked as the editor of Central America Report and the associate editor for NACLA Report on the Americas.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations xv
I. The Maya: Before the Europeans 11
II. Invasion and Colonialism 39
III. A Caffeinated Modernism 107
IV. Ten Years of Spring and Beyond 197
V. Roads to Revolution 281
VI. Intent to Destroy 361
VII. An Unsettled Peace 441
VIII. Maya Movements 501
IX. The Sixth Century 545
Suggestions for Further Reading 625
Acknowledgment of Copyrights and Sources 641