Since the first edition of this book appeared in 1982, El Salvador has experienced the most radical social change in its history. Ten years of civil war, in which a tenacious and creative revolutionary movement battled a larger, better-equipped, U.S.-supported army to a standstill, have ended with twenty months of negotiations and a peace accord that promises to change the course of Salvadorean society and politics.This book traces the history of El Salvador, focusing on the two actors?the oligarchy and the armed forces?that shaped the Salvadorean economy and political system. Concentrating on the period since 1960, the author sheds new light on the U.S. role in the increasing militarization of the country and the origins of the oligarchy-army rupture in 1979. Separate chapters deal with the Catholic church and the revolutionary organizations, which challenged the status quo after 1968. In the new edition, Dr. Montgomery continues the story from 1982 to the present, offering a detailed account of the evolution of the war. She examines why Duarte's two inaugural promises, peace and economic prosperity, could not be fulfilled and analyzes the electoral victory of the oligarchy in 1989. The final chapters closely follow the peace negotiations, ending with an assessment of the peace accords and an evaluation of the future prospects for El Salvador. An Epilogue analyzes the 1994 elections. Dr. Montgomery's prognosis in the first edition?that no lasting, viable political solution was possible without the participation of the revolutionary organizations?has been borne out by events: Today the FMLN is a legal political party.
Table of Contents
Introduction—Fifteen Years Later: Peace at Last -- Prologue: Recollections and Reflections—Fifteen Years in El Salvador -- The Roots of Revolution, 1524–1960 -- Challenges to Power, 1960–1980 -- The Church -- The Revolutionaries -- Descent into Anarchy, 1980–1982 -- High-Intensity Politics and Low-Intensity Conflict, 1982–1984 -- Electoral Authoritarianism and the Revolutionary Challenge, 1984–1989 -- The Road to Peace, 1989–1994 -- Epilogue: The Electronic Tamale