Understanding Central America: Third Edition
Since the 1960s, political violence and war in Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala have taken 300,000 lives, displaced millions, and reversed ... Show synopsis Since the 1960s, political violence and war in Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala have taken 300,000 lives, displaced millions, and reversed decades of economic gains. Progress toward peace has been made since 1989 as the decade of war has changed the politics of conflict in the region and in Washington. In this new edition of a widely praised book, two of the most respected writers on Central American politics explore the origins and development of the region's political conflicts and efforts to resolve them. Highlights of the third edition include a new emphasis on regime change from the 1970s through the 1990s, the Salvadoran and Guatemalan peace accords of 1992 and 1996, recent elections (including Nicaragua's in 1996), evolving U.S.-Central American relations in the post-Cold War era, and an evaluation of the region's new civilian democratic regimes.John Booth and Thomas Walker trace the roots of underdevelopment and crisis in the region by examining the shared and individual histories of the Central American nations. They offer a theory about rebellion and political stability to account for the striking contrast between war-torn Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua and the stability of Costa Rica and Honduras. The authors examine the forces driving popular mobilization--economic change, liberation theology, and Marxism--and evaluate the dramatic changes in U.S. policy toward Central America, from a containment-oriented policy dominated by intervention in Central America's revolutions in the 1980s to a policy emphasizing the promotion of economic development and trade, especially with Mexico.