The Lived Experience in 20th Century Central America



Spring 2014

HILA 3051

The Lived Experience in 20th Century Central America

Herbert Braun

How have Central Americans and Americans experienced the twentieth century in Central America?  We will be reading testimonials, memoirs, documentaries and novels to get at the personal experiences of daily life in these deeply conflicted social orders.   We will read them in the following order.  I am not asking the bookstore to get them, as you can obtain them all much cheaper on line.  You will write a journal in two installlments, and a final 15 page essay for the course.  No exams. All the books are fantastic, and good reads.   Do not buy the June Erlick book, as I will provide it at a nominal cost to you.

  • Omar Cabezas, Fire From the Mountain
  • Stephen Kinzer, Blood of Brothers:  Life and War in Nicaragua              
  • Gioconda Belli, The Country Under My Skin
  • Stephen Schlesinger, Bitter Fruit:  The Story of the American Coup in Guatemala
  • June Erlick, Disappeared:  A Journalist Silenced
  • Rigoberta Menchú, I, Rigoberta Menchú:  An Indian Woman From Guatemala
  • Francisco Goldman, The Art of Political Murder
  • María López Vigil, Oscar Romero:  Memories in Mosaic
  • Claribel Alegria, Ashes of Izalco
  • Ana Carrigan, Salvador Witness
  • Manlio Argueta, One Day of Life
  • Mark Danner, The Massacre at El Mozote


Corcoran Department of History
University of Virginia
Nau Hall - South Lawn
Charlottesville, VA 22904



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