A Beauty That Hurts: Life and Death in Guatemala / Edition 2

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Overview

Though a 1996 peace accord brought a formal end to a conflict that had lasted for thirty-six years, Guatemala's violent past continues to scar its troubled present and seems destined to haunt its uncertain future. George Lovell brings to this revised and expanded edition of A Beauty That Hurts decades of fieldwork throughout Guatemala, as well as archival research. He locates the roots of conflict in geographies of inequality that arose during colonial times and were exacerbated by the drive to develop Guatemala's resources in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The lines of confrontation were entrenched after a decade of socioeconomic reform between 1944 and 1954 saw modernizing initiatives undone by a military coup backed by U.S. interests and the CIA. A United Nations Truth Commission has established that civil war in Guatemala claimed the lives of more that 200,000 people, the vast majority of them indigenous Mayas.

Lovell weaves documentation about what happened to Mayas in particular during the war years with accounts of their difficult personal situations. Meanwhile, an intransigent elite and a powerful military continue to benefit from the inequalities that triggered armed insurrection in the first place. Weak and corrupt civilian governments fail to impose the rule of law, thus ensuring that Guatemala remains an embattled country where postwar violence and drug-related crime undermine any semblance of orderly, peaceful life.

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What People Are Saying

Ronald Wright
George Lovell is one of the few outsiders who has penetrated to the heart of the hideous tragedy that burns amid Guatemala's beauty. He takes us there with style, originality, and a calm understanding in this wise and moving book.
Ronald Wright, author of Time among the Maya and Stolen Continents
Ronald Wright
George Lovell is one of the few outsiders who has penetrated to the heart of the hideous tragedy that burns amid Guatemala's beauty. He takes us there with style, originality, and a calm understanding in this wise and moving book.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

W. GEORGE LOVELL is Professor of Geography at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. He also teaches at the Universidad Pablo de Olavide in Seville, Spain, as Visiting Professor in Latin American History. To date, his ten book titles have appeared in seventeen different editions in Spanish as well as in English. Among his honors is the Carl O. Sauer Distinguished Scholarship Award from the Conference of Latin Americanist Geographers.
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Table of Contents

Pt. 1 Struggle and Survival 1

1 Q'Anjob'Al Canadian 3

2 Nobel K'Iche 17

3 Jakaltek American 26

4 Dona Magdalena 32

5 Through a Lens, Darkly 39

6 Devils and Angels 42

Pt. 2 Blood and Ink 47

7 The Delivery Man 49

8 Into the Fire 50

9 Peace of the Dead 57

10 Futility at the Polls 66

11 Civilian Rule 71

12 A Militarized Society 75

13 The Daily News 80

14 The Fiction of Democracy 90

15 Searching for Peace 94

16 Scarred by War 98

17 How Was Guatemala? 104

Pt. 3 Spaniards, Ladinos, and the Enduring Maya 105

18 The Colonial Experience 107

19 The Century After Independence 120

20 Arbenz and the Fruit Company 132

21 The T-Shirt Parade 138

22 Natives in the Backcountry 144

Epilogue 149

A Guatemalan Gallery Follows Page 180 180

Sources and Commentary 181

Index 203

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