13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
you must read this book,
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This review is from: Silence on the Mountain: Stories of Terror, Betrayal, and Forgetting in Guatemala (Hardcover)
time and again i let myself be surprised by the atrocious acts committed or supported by my government. the hypocricy of the CIA and of US foreign policy in general is nothing new, but this book tells guatemala's story from a very personal angle. the repressive practices of the post-50's guatemalan government are shocking and important to understand in and of themselves, along with the US involvement in those practices. but what is most outstanding about this book is the human face wilkinson puts on the tragedy. in his travels on a harvard fellowship, he meets many of the major players in the drama, as well as the ordinary people who suffered from the violence. the result is a book not entirely sympathetic to the guerrilla fighters, not entirely condemning of the guatemalan government, but entirely focused on the outcomes of the civil war that are still being faced by the rural poor in the guatemalan highlands. we are responsible as us citizens -- if we are us citizens, that is :) for understanding this story, since our government is largely responsible for supporting the violence over so many decades.
also, this is an amazing read. it's intelligent, funny, well-written all around. it's not entirely chronological, but more like a travel journal-cum-historical flashbacks. i read it in preparation for a trip to guatemala, and am so glad that i did. everyone should read this book.