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Silence on the Mountain: Stories of Terror, Betrayal, and Forgetting in Guatemala
     

Silence on the Mountain: Stories of Terror, Betrayal, and Forgetting in Guatemala

by Daniel Wilkinson, Gilbert M. Joseph, Emily S. Rosenberg
 

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ISBN-10: 0822333686

ISBN-13: 9780822333685

Pub. Date: 08/20/2004

Publisher: Duke University Press Books

new in paperback
Silence on the Mountain
is a virtuoso work of reporting and a masterfully plotted narrative tracing the history of Guatemala’s thirty-six-year internal war, a conflict that claimed the lives of some 200,000 people, the vast majority of whom died (or were “disappeared”) at the hands of the U.S.-backed military government.

Overview

new in paperback
Silence on the Mountain
is a virtuoso work of reporting and a masterfully plotted narrative tracing the history of Guatemala’s thirty-six-year internal war, a conflict that claimed the lives of some 200,000 people, the vast majority of whom died (or were “disappeared”) at the hands of the U.S.-backed military government. Written by Daniel Wilkinson, a young human rights worker, the story begins in 1993, when the author decides to investigate the arson of a coffee plantation’s manor house by a band of guerrillas. The questions surrounding this incident soon broaden into a complex mystery whose solution requires Wilkinson to dig up the largely unwritten history of the country’s recent civil war, following its roots back to a land reform movement that was derailed by a U.S.-sponsored military coup in 1954 and to the origins of a plantation system that put Guatemala’s Mayan Indians to work picking coffee beans for the American and European markets.

Decades of terror-inspired fear have led the Guatemalans to adopt a survival strategy of silence so complete it verges on collective amnesia. The author’s great triumph is that he finds a way for people to tell their stories, and it is through these stories—dramatic, intimate, heartbreaking—that we are shown the anatomy of a thwarted revolution that has relevance not only to Guatemala but also to countless places around the world where terror has been used as a political tool.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780822333685
Publisher:
Duke University Press Books
Publication date:
08/20/2004
Series:
American Encounters/Global Interactions
Pages:
392
Sales rank:
576,464
Product dimensions:
8.90(w) x 6.00(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

I. A House Burned

The Owner 3

The Student 7

The Battlefield 11

Exhumation 19

II. Ashes Fell

Rumor 29

Travelogue 32

Natural History 42

Bildungsroman 48

Revelation 56

Decree 65

III. A Future Was Buried

A Dangerous Question 83

The Law That Would Change the World 157

Betrayal 168

Burials 180

IV. And They Were the Eruption

The Savages 193

Sacuhum 199

The Guerrillas 217

The Politicians 252

The Terrorist 307

The Defeated 337

The Storytellers 350

List of Names 361

Notes on Sources 362

Selected Bibliography 367

Acknowledgments 372

Index 374

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