"Terror is the given of the place." The place is El Salvador in 1982, at the ghastly height of its civil war. The writer is Joan Didion, who delivers an anatomy of that country's particular brand of terror–its mechanisms, rationales, and intimate relation to United States foreign policy.As ash travels from battlefields to body dumps, interviews a puppet president, and considers the distinctly Salvadoran grammar of the verb "to disappear," Didion gives us a book that is germane to any country in which bloodshed has become a standard tool of politics.
Vivid and haunting imagery and cause for reflection
By A Customer - October 24, 2000
Joan Didion's portrait of El Salvador left me with vivid and haunting imagery of daily, commonplace disappearances and murders; of body dumps; of the Metropolitan Cathedral that the late Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero refused to finish, "on the premise that the work of the Church took precedence over its display;" of the ghostlike, dispelled National University ("It's not possible to speak of intellectual life in El Salvador"); of the United States' duplicitous role."Any situation can turn to terror. The most ordinary errand can go bad ... There is an endemic apprehension of danger in the apparently benign." Joan Didion makes it possible to imagine living this way, every day, with no escape, surrounded by brutal evidence of violent torture and death everywhere.By the end of Ms. Didion's narrative, it becomes evident, if the reader did not already have some inkling at the beginning, that "American policy, by accepting the invention of... read more
Incisive & Biting: The U.S. & El Salvador's Civil War
By C. I. McCabe - October 13, 1997
For anyone interested in the 12-year bloody civil war in El Salvador and the U.S. complicity in that war, this is a absolute read. It is a slim volume in which Didion lays bare in a matter a pages the U.S.'s criminal involvement in El Salvador's internal political affairs in the name of the war against "communism." There are few books in its class. I couldn't put this book down and finished it in one sitting! It provides a quick study of the U.S.'s complicity in the murderous regimes in El Salvador in the 1980's.
Perhaps Joan Didion's most important non-fictional work.
By A Customer - January 26, 2002
Didion's uncanny ability to use the words and mechanics of the English language to convey particular meanings is lustfully breathtaking. A fine line between the writings found inside a diary and a journalist's objective reportings, Joan Didion's _Salvador_ conveys El Salvador's civil war in ways that only she could. An outsider to the region, Didion's writings do not attempt to account for the chronological history of the civil war. Instead, she uses this diaretic format to help the reader enter into a world so foreign from the luxury-plagued U.S. that both Joan and her readers are left out of place, struggling to come to terms with the terror then reigning across El Salvador's tropical countryside--all along forcing her readers to confront the odious role played by our nation's then Vietnam Syndrome inflicted CIA. (May I also suggest the movie _Salvador_,...It is based on the diary of another freelance journalist/photographer who covered the civil war in El Salvador at the same... read more
This report details the effects of the two earthquakes that occurred in El Salvador on January 13 and February 13, 2001. The first earthquake had a magnitude of 7.6 and the second had a magnitude of ...
"Maniac Eyeball is the third, final and most comprehensive volume of autobiography written by the late Salvador Dali. "Maniac Eyeball contains the frank and uncensored confessions of Salvador Dali, ...
This book provides an entertaining and humorous introduction to the famous artist, Salvador Dali. Full-colour reproductions of the actual paintings are enhanced by Venezia''s clever illustrations and ...
This book presents the strange, humorous and wildly inventive paintings of Salvador Dali. The author helps children unlock the mysteries of Dali's artwork by explaining his use of detail, colour and ...