Silence On The Mountain

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Format: Paperback
Pub. Date: 2004-08-06
Publisher(s): Duke Univ Pr
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Summary

Silence on the Mountain is a virtuoso work of reporting and a masterfully plotted narrative tracing the history of Guatemala's thirty-six-year internal war, a conflict that claimed the lives of some 200,000 people, the vast majority of whom died (or were "disappeared") at the hands of the U.S.-backed military government. Written by Daniel Wilkinson, a young human rights worker, the story begins in 1993, when the author decides to investigate the arson of a coffee plantation's manor house by a band of guerrillas. The questions surrounding this incident soon broaden into a complex mystery whose solution requires Wilkinson to dig up the largely unwritten history of the country's recent civil war, following its roots back to a land reform movement that was derailed by a U.S.-sponsored military coup in 1954 and to the origins of a plantation system that put Guatemala's Mayan Indians to work picking coffee beans for the American and European markets. Decades of terror-inspired fear have led the Guatemalans to adopt a survival strategy of silence so complete it verges on collective amnesia. The author's great triumph is that he finds a way for people to tell their stories, and it is through these stories-dramatic, intimate, heartbreaking-that we are shown the anatomy of a thwarted revolution that has relevance not only to Guatemala but to countless places around the world where terror has been used as a political tool.

Author Biography

Daniel Wilkinson works with Human Rights Watch. He lives in Brooklyn, New York

Table of Contents

A House Burned
The Owner
The Student
The Battlefield
Exhumation
Ashes Fell
Rumor
Travelogue
Natural History
Bildungsroman
Revelation
Decree
A Future Was Buried
A Dangerous Question
The Law That Would Change the World
Betrayal
Burials
And They Were the Eruption
The Savages
Sacuhum
The Guerrillas
The Politicians
The Terrorist
The Defeated
The Storytellers
List of Names
Notes on Sources
Selected Bibliography
Acknowledgments
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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