El Salvador Could Be Like That (Paperback)
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Drawing from personal on-the-ground experiences and over 400 submitted wire stories, Joseph Frazier reveals a forgotten war that was important for Latin America, US-Soviet history, and the everyday people of El Salvador. "Joseph Frazier's book brings all his expertise, compassion and flair to the deeply compelling story of that hidden war which cost 75,000 lives. His eye is extraordinary. He sees through the fog and disinformation of both sides, sees the war's political complexity, and makes us feel its human cost. And he gets its ironies-Kurt Vonnegut and Joseph Heller are somewhere smiling upon this account." - Journalist and filmmaker Mary Jo McConahay, author of National Geographic Book of the Month, Maya Roads: One Woman's Journey Among the People of the Rainforest. Joe Frazier, a longtime veteran of The Associated Press, covered the bloody civil war in El Salvador in the early 1980s. The conflict between the rightist U.S.-backed government forces and the revolutionary guerrillas was the last gasp of the U.S.-Soviet cold war and affected every level of Salvadoran society. A starkly divided country where a few wealthy landowners controlled the majority of the capital, El Salvador was ripe for revolution in the late 1970s. Many people were living without basic necessities, and many were living in fear. Deeply sympathetic to the ordinary people-of all political leanings-who suffered the most, Frazier exposes the daily horrors and injustices of this long, brutal war: death squads, disappearances, stolen children, food shortages, displacement, constant intimidation. Frazier calls upon his vast trove of articles written from the frontlines, interspersing the reporting of facts with personal stories-some funny, some tragic-and political commentary. Both broad in its sweep and intense in its focus on the daily lives of the war's victims, Frazier's book is an important contribution to the scholarship on this mostly forgotten conflict. He explores the war and the factors that contributed to it in the hopes that such horrors will not be repeated. From the author's dedication: This book is dedicated to the reporters, photographers, and journalists I worked with as we tried to make sense out of the tragic times that came to define much of Central America, especially tiny, bludgeoned El Salvador in the 1980s. The wars that brought us together are forgotten now. So are the lessons they should have taught us. This book is a reminder of both.