An excellent example of a new generation of scholarship on El Salvador. It represents a concerted effort to apply the insights of subaltern studies, gender studies, historical anthropology, and cultural studies to the understanding of the country's past.
During the 1980s, El Salvador’s violent civil war captured the world’s attention. In the years since, the country has undergone dramatic changes. Landscapes of Struggle offers a broad, interdisciplinary assessment of El Salvador from the late nineteenth century to the present, focusing on the ways local politics have shaped the development of the nation. Proceeding chronologically, these essays-by historians, political scientists, sociologists, and anthropologists-explore the political, social, and cultural dynamics governing the Salvadoran experience, including the crucial roles of land, the military, and ethnicity; the effects of the civil war; and recent transformations, such as the growth of a large Salvadoran diaspora in the United States. Taken together, they provide a fully realized portrait of El Salvador’s troublesome past, transformative present, and uncertain future.
Rarely has history met contemporary cultural and political analysis of Latin America on such fertile terrain. . . . A fresh, critical, interdisciplinary lens.
Especially illuminating are the chapters treating urban violence in contemporary society and the effects of migration to the US on the country's social and economic development.
Aldo Lauria-Santiago, associate professor of history and director of Latin American and Latino Studies at the College of the Holy Cross, is the author of An Agrarian Republic: Commercial Agriculture and the Politics of Peasant Communities in El Salvador, 1823-1914.