To Rise In Darkness

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Format: Paperback
Pub. Date: 2008-06-30
Publisher(s): Duke Univ Pr
List Price: $29.95

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To Rise in Darknessoffers a new perspective on a defining moment in modern Central American history. In January 1932, thousands of indigenous and ladino (non-Indian) rural labourers provoked by electoral fraud and the repression of strikes rose up and took control of several municipalities in central and western El Salvador. Within days, the military and civilian militias re-took the towns and executed thousands of people, most of whom were indigenous. This event, known as la Matanza (the massacre), has received relatively little scholarly attention. InTo Rise in Darkness, Jeffrey L. Gould and Aldo A. Lauria-Santiago investigate memories of the massacre and its long-term cultural and political consequences. Gould conducted more than two hundred interviews with survivors of la Matanza and their descendants. He and Lauria-Santiago combine individual accounts with documentary sources from archives in El Salvador, Guatemala, Washington, London, and Moscow. They describe the political, economic, and cultural landscape of El Salvador during the 1920s and early 1930s, and offer a detailed narrative of the uprising and massacre. The authors challenge the prevailing idea that the Communist organizers of the uprising and the rural Indians who participated in it were two distinct groups. Gould and Lauria-Santiago demonstrate that many Communist militants were themselves rural Indians, some of whom had been union activists on the coffee plantations for several years prior to the rebellion. Moreover, by meticulously documenting local variations in class relations, ethnic identity, and political commitment, the authors show that those groups considered "Indian" in western El Salvador were far from homogeneous. The united revolutionary movement of January 1932 emerged out of significant cultural difference and conflict.

Author Biography

Jeffrey L. Gould is James H. Rudy Professor of History and Director of the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at Indiana University. He is a co-producer and co-director of the documentary film Scars of Memory: El Salvador, 1932 Aldo A. Lauria-Santiago is Associate Professor of History and Chair of the Department of Latino and Hispanic Caribbean Studies at Rutgers University

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Garden of Despair: the Political Economy of Class, Land, and Labor, 1920-1929p. 1
A Bittersweet Transition: Politics and Labor in the 1920sp. 32
Fiestas of the Oppressed: The Social Geography and Culture of Mobilizationp. 63
"Ese Trabajo Era Enteramente de los Naturales": Ethnic Conflict and Mestizaje in Western Salvador, 1914-1931p. 99
"To the Face of the Entire World": Repression and Radicalization, September 1931-January 1932p. 132
Red Ribbons and Machetes: The Insurrection of January 1932p. 170
"They Killed the Just for the Sinners": The Counterrevolutionary Massacresp. 209
Memories of La Matanza: The Political and Cultural Consequences of 1932p. 240
Epiloguep. 275
Afterwordp. 281
Notesp. 291
Bibliographyp. 343
Indexp. 355
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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