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  • Central America's Forgotten History

  • Revolution, Violence, and the Roots of Migration
  • By: Aviva Chomsky
  • Narrated by: Aida Reluzco
  • Length: 10 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History, Americas
  • 4.0 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Publisher's Summary

Restores the region’s fraught history of repression and resistance to popular consciousness and connects the United States’ interventions and influence to the influx of refugees seeking asylum today.

At the center of the current immigration debate are migrants from Central America fleeing poverty, corruption, and violence in search of refuge in the United States. In Central America’s Forgotten History, Aviva Chomsky answers the urgent question “How did we get here?” Centering the centuries-long intertwined histories of US expansion and indigenous and Central American struggles against inequality and oppression, Chomsky highlights the pernicious cycle of colonial and neocolonial development policies that promote cultures of violence and forgetting without any accountability or restorative reparations.

Focusing on the valiant struggles for social and economic justice in Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Honduras, Chomsky restores these vivid and gripping events to popular consciousness. Tracing the roots of displacement and migration in Central America to the Spanish conquest and bringing us to the present day, she concludes that the more immediate roots of migration from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras lie in the wars and in the US interventions of the 1980s and the peace accords of the 1990s that set the stage for neoliberalism in Central America.

Chomsky also examines how and why histories and memories are suppressed and the impact of losing historical memory. Only by erasing history can we claim that Central American countries created their own poverty and violence, while the United States’ enjoyment and profit from their bananas, coffee, mining, clothing, and export of arms are simply unrelated curiosities.

©2021 Aviva Chomsky (P)2021 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“A convincing case that much of Central America’s violent unrest can be laid at the feet of US leaders.” (Kirkus Reviews

“This is a text that is sorely needed, and there is nothing like it available, a brilliant, deeply researched, and concise ‘forgotten’ history, not only of Central America but also of US military occupations and interventions that have created the refugees at the US-Mexico border.” (Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, author of An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States

“Aviva Chomsky’ Central America’s Forgotten History is essential reading, an antidote to mainstream coverage that ignores the larger context of the crisis. Its roots, as Chomsky concisely and convincingly reveals, are deep, and many of them snake back to Washington, to a century of catastrophic security and economic policies.” (Greg Grandin, author of The End of the Myth: From the Frontier to the Border Wall in the Mind of America

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  • Mike A. Cruz
  • 24-06-2021

Enlightening

Excellent accounting of the history and systemic issues that have plagued this region. Must read for anyone working or interested in helping these migrant children coming from Central America.

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  • Maureen Deisinger
  • 23-04-2021

Confusing, disorganized, and esoteric.

Mrs Chomsky did an excellent job of outlining the many failures of socialist governments. Not one country that was discussed had any successes, but grew more corrupt and oppressive over time. Mrs Chomsky argues the USA owes a moral and material debt to central America but she herself outlines that everytime the USA does get involved, we make it worse. We need to withdraw all aid and inovlement in Central America. Overall, a grossly liberal slanted propaganda piece.

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  • Dennis Sommers
  • 10-07-2021

Avoid the rants and you have a good survey.

It is true that very little attention has been paid in Europe to Central America. My atlas shows two countries that don’t get a plug in this book: Costa Rica and Panama, so why? The answer seems to be that they donZ🐩’t match the author’s agenda. This said, once you get past the almost 40-minute rant in the first two chapters you do actually get to some really detailed history but not enough about the Spanish colonial past or about the ngigenous pre-colonial cultures.
We all kmnow about US meddling on its ‘back door’ and all right-minded people deplore it, but this author over-complicates matters with too much preaching and shouting, and once Ihad the information I bought the book to find , I fast-forwarded to the end. The book is worth buying for that info, so best stick to the central chapters about the individual countries and skip the rants.

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