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Stories of Civil War in El Salvador: A Battle Over Memory

Condition: BRAND NEW
ISBN: 9781469628660
Author(s): Erik Kristofer Ching
Format: Paperback
Year: 2016
Publisher: University of North Carolina Press
Dimensions: 152 x 0 x 229 (w x l x h)
Pages: 362

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El Salvador's civil war began in 1980 and ended twelve bloody years later.It saw extreme violence on both sides, including the terrorising and targetingof civilians by death squads, recruitment of child soldiers, and the death anddisappearance of more than 75,000 people. Examining El Salvador's vibrantlife-story literature written in the aftermath of this terrible conflict-includingmemoirs and testimonials-Erik Ching seeks to understand how thewar has come to be remembered and rebattled by Salvadorans and what thatmeans for their society today. Ching identifies four memory communities that dominate nationalpostwar views: civilian elites, military officers, guerrilla commanders, andworking class and poor testimonialists. Pushing distinct and divergent stories,these groups are today engaged in what Ching terms a 'narrative battle'for control over the memory of the war. Their ongoing publications in themarketplace of ideas tend to direct Salvadorans' attempts to negotiate thewar's meaning and legacy, and Ching suggests that a more open, coordinatedreconciliation process is needed in this postconflict society.
In the meantime,El Salvador, fractured by conflicting interpretations of its national trauma,is hindered in dealing with the immediate problems posed by the nexus ofneoliberalism, gang violence, and outmigration.

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