Guerrillas: War and Peace in Central America

Three parallel wars were fought in the latter half of the twentieth century in El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua. These wars were long and brutal, dividing international opinion sharply between US support for dictatorial regimes and the USSR's sponsorship of guerrilla fighters. This fascinating study of the `guerrilla generation' is based on in-depth interviews with both guerrilla comandantes and political and military leaders of the time. Dirk Kruijt analyses the dreams and achievements, the successes and failures, the utopias and dystopias of an entire Central American generation and its leaders. Guerrillas ranges widely, from the guerrilla movement's origins in poverty, oppression and exclusion; its tactics in warfare; the ill-fated experiment with Sandinista government in Nicaragua; to the subsequent `normalization' of guerrilla movements within democratic societies. The story told here is vital for understanding contemporary social movements in Latin America.