The Guatemala Reader: History, Culture, Politics

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Greg Grandin, Deborah T. Levenson, Elizabeth Oglesby
Duke University Press, Oct 31, 2011 - History - 688 pages
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This reader brings together more than 200 texts and images in a broad introduction to Guatemala's history, culture, and politics. In choosing the selections, the editors sought to avoid representing the country only in terms of its long experience of conflict, racism, and violence. And so, while offering many perspectives on that violence, this anthology portrays Guatemala as a real place where people experience joys and sorrows that cannot be reduced to the contretemps of resistance and repression. It includes not only the opinions of politicians, activists, and scholars, but also poems, songs, plays, jokes, novels, short stories, recipes, art, and photographs that capture the diversity of everyday life in Guatemala. The editors introduce all of the selections, from the first piece, an excerpt from the Popol Vuh, a mid-sixteenth-century text believed to be the single most important source documenting pre-Hispanic Maya culture, through the final selections, which explore contemporary Guatemala in relation to neoliberalism, multiculturalism, and the dynamics of migration to the United States and of immigrant life. Many pieces were originally published in Spanish, and most of those appear in English for the first time.

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About the author (2011)

Greg Grandin is Professor of History at New York University and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is the author of Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford’s Forgotten Jungle City, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in History.

Deborah T. Levenson is Associate Professor of History at Boston College and the author of Trade Unionists against Terror: Guatemala City, 1954–1985 and Adiós Niño: Political Violence and the Gangs of Guatemala City, forthcoming from Duke University Press.

Elizabeth Oglesby is Associate Professor of Geography and Latin American Studies at the University of Arizona. She previously worked as the editor of Central America Report and the associate editor for NACLA Report on the Americas.

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