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A comprehensive analysis of the U.S. Central America peace movement, Resisting Reagan explains why more than one hundred thousand U.S. citizens marched in the streets, illegally housed refugees, traveled to Central American war zones, committed civil disobedience, and hounded their political representatives to contest the Reagan administration's policy of sponsoring wars in Nicaragua and El Salvador.
Focusing on the movement's three most important national campaigns—Witness for Peace, Sanctuary, and the Pledge of Resistance—this book demonstrates the centrality of morality as a political motivator, highlights the importance of political opportunities in movement outcomes, and examines the social structuring of insurgent consciousness. Based on extensive surveys, interviews, and research, Resisting Reagan makes significant contributions to our understanding of the formation of individual activist identities, of national movement dynamics, and of religious resources for political activism.
"Though more a study of US interest groups and social movements, provides useful information on US policy toward Central America. Somewhat sympathetic toward the peace movements' goals and to their definition of 'harassment.'"--Handbook of Latin American Studies, v. 57.
List of Tables and Figures
1: The Sources of Central American Unrest
2: United States Intervention
3: Low-Intensity Warfare
4: Launching the Peace Movement
5: Grasping the Big Picture
6: The Social Structure of Moral Outrage
7: The Individual Activists
8: Negotiating Strategies and Collective Identity
9: Fighting Battles of Public Discourse
10: Facing Harassment and Repression
11: Problems for Protesters Closer to Home
12: The Movement's Demise
13: What Did the Movement Achieve?
14: Lessons for Social-Movement Theory
Appendix: The Distribution and Activities of Central America Peace