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Witness to War: An American Doctor in El Salvador Hardcover – June 1, 1984


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 268 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; First Edition edition (June 1, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553050648
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553050646
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,111,098 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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The story is told in such a descriptive and wonderful way by Dr. Charles Clements.
SUPERMAN
I totally recommend this book, its a remarkable testimony to a marginalized community resisting their own destruction.
S Wood
This is a war story that is so very human that it will shock you out of your comfort zone.
mreede@asia-sport.com

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By mreede@asia-sport.com on July 3, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I read this book 3 years ago while travelling in Central America and was consumed by it. This is a war story that is so very human that it will shock you out of your comfort zone. It's one man's account of the suffering he witnessed in El Salvador, but it's also a story about the motives behind this peasant uprising and the deadly manner in which it was crushed in the name of democracy.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By SUPERMAN on October 12, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I read this book while attending college, it was part of a Latin American Government class. It was the kind of book that Reagan and his cronies did not want anybody to read. A book that showed the humanity and compassion of the so-called "communist guerillas" that were attempting to overthrow the "freedom-loving" dictatorship that ruled El Salvador. The story is told in such a descriptive and wonderful way by Dr. Charles Clements. If anything, this book demonstrates that truth comes from actual observers and not from politicians with crooked agendas. Dr. Clements tried to open Americans' eyes to the reality that existed in El Salvador at this time, while Reagan and the media attempted to distort that reality.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By simon on November 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
there are books that you will read in your lifetime,that you think are really good and there are books you will read that you think are one of the best books you will ever read and know you will read again and again.

this book is the latter.charles clements has probably lived the life of several people within a short space of time,from being a pilot in the vietnam war to being a quaker doctor in the middle of the war zone in el salvador.this book explains the life of the people of el salvador and how foreign governments can dictate the annihilation of a country,just because they are afraid of the threat of communism.this book will stir you to become more aware of how governments manipulate and gives you one of the best actual accounts of life in el salvador and how the people lived,loved and fought to protect their families and way of life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bob Newman VINE VOICE on September 23, 2013
Format: Hardcover
People often say that Costa Rica is the most advanced Central American country because it didn't have many Indians. Hearing this, you may think that Indians somehow prevent democracy or `progress'. Actually, the saying is true, but in a totally different sense. Costa Ricans, unlike their Central American neighbors to the north, didn't have masses of Indians to use as labor, so they didn't develop a small, rich class of vulture-like oligarchs that lived on the backs of those Indians. El Salvador, on the contrary, typifies a country where a tiny group of families dominated everything, oppressing the peasants and landless laborers endlessly. Though Communists eventually got involved, there was no doubt that a revolution was on the cards. It came. And predictably, the USA supported the oligarchs with guns, bombs, training courses and advisors. We were not new at the game. Only a few years before we'd been fighting in Vietnam, supporting another elite. Charles Clements, author of this poignant memoir, served as a pilot in that war, gotten sick of the killing and the waste, the brutalization of participants, and the lies. He managed to get out of the air force, go back to school to become a doctor and embraced Quakerism at the same time. This book is the story of how he did that, but also about what he did next.

Clements volunteered to be a doctor among the people in the guerrilla-controlled zones of El Salvador, people who lived hungry, afraid, and sick, but who had their principles and their dream of a better country. His position was ambiguous since Americans both sent medical supplies to the guerrillas and supported the army, who tortured and mutilated every suspect they caught. Different Americans obviously. Some of the guerrillas welcomed him, others did not trust him.
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