Synopses & Reviews
The fifth edition of Understanding Central America explains how domestic and global political and economic forces have shaped rebellion and regime change in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. John A. Booth, Christine J. Wade, and Thomas W. Walker explore the origins and development of the regions political conflicts and its efforts to resolve them. Covering the regions political and economic development from the early 1800s onward, the authors provide a background for understanding Central Americas rebellion and regime change of the past forty years. This revised edition brings the Central American story up to date, with special emphasis on globalization, evolving public opinion, progress toward democratic consolidation, and the relationship between Central America and the United States under the Obama administration, and includes analysis of the 2009 Honduran coup détat. A useful introduction to the region and a model for how to convey its complexities in language readers will comprehend, Understanding Central America stands out as a must-have resource.
“Written with detail, sophistication, and great clarity, and key concepts are precisely explained. It is thus both an informed read for scholars and very accessible to students. Highly recommended.” —Choice
“Prior editions of Understanding Central America
had become the classic work in the field, both in the classroom and as an academic reference. This new edition is a major upgrade, not only involving updating of events, but rethinking the theoretical issues that are at the heart of any understanding of the region. … Without question, a ‘must read’ for anyone interested in this complex and volatile area of the world.” —Mitchell A. Seligson, Vanderbilt University
“Understanding Central America remains the most comprehensive and indispensable textbook for courses on Central American politics. It offers a classic interpretation of the roots of civil wars and U.S. interventions in late twentieth-century Central America. This new edition has been reorganized and updated to address the region’s post-war issues of the twenty-first century, incorporating new scholarship relevant for analysis over the long-run.” —Susanne Jonas, University of California, Santa Cruz
“This volume is without doubt the best comprehensive examination of Central American politics and society. The book represents a good balance between an intellectually sophisticated analysis and a clear, concise approach readily accessible for undergraduate students.” —Orlando J. Pérez, Central Michigan University; President, Midwest Association for Latin American Studies
Praise for Previous Editions
“This is an excellent volume. If you can only read one book on Central America, make it this one.” —John Peeler, Bucknell University
“An outstanding contribution. … This book is among the very best on the subject in the past decade.” —Choice
“An ideal volume that introduces the complexities of the region.” —Mitchell A. Seligson, University of Pittsburgh
“Clearly written, well organized, and challenging. … Laudably, this book speaks both to those who already know the region well and to those seeking an intelligent introduction.” —E. Bradford Burns, University of California, Los Angeles
“This book is required reading as we move into a new, complex era of U.S.–Central American relations.” —Walter LaFeber, Cornell University
Authoritative, comprehensive coverage of Central America’s political evolution, including revolution, rebellion, and regime change as well as democratic consolidation.
About the Author
John A. Booth
is Regents Professor of Political Science at the University of North Texas.
Christine J. Wade is Assistant Professor of Political Science and International studies at Washington College.
Thomas W. Walker is professor of political science and Director of the Latin American Studies Program at Ohio University. He is the author of Nicaragua: Living in the Shadow of the Eagle, Fourth Edition (2003, Westview).