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University of Texas Press
A Beauty That Hurts: Life and Death in Guatemala / Edition 2

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

by W. George Lovell


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780292721838
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Publication date: 04/15/2010
Series: Linda Schele Series in Maya and Pre-Columbian Studies Series
Pages: 232
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.50(d)

About 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.

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Part One: Struggle and Survival
    • 1. Q'anjob'al Canadian
    • 2. Nobel K'iche'
    • 3. Jakaltek American
    • 4. Doña Magdalena
    • 5. Through a Lens, Darkly
    • 6. Devils and Angels
  • Part Two: Blood and Ink
    • 7. The Delivery Man
    • 8. Into the Fire
    • 9. Peace of the Dead
    • 10. Futility at the Polls
    • 11. Civilian Rule
    • 12. A Militarized Society
    • 13. The Daily News
    • 14. The Fiction of Democracy
    • 15. Searching for Peace
    • 16. Scarred by War
    • 17. How Was Guatemala?
  • Part Three: Spaniards, Ladinos, and the Enduring Maya
    • 18. The Colonial Experience
    • 19. The Century after Independence
    • 20. Arbenz and the Fruit Company
    • 21. The T-Shirt Parade
    • 22. Natives in the Backcountry
  • Epilogue
  • A Guatemalan Gallery
  • Sources and Commentary

What People are Saying About This

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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