Grabbing Power: the New Struggles for Land, Food and Democracy in Northern Honduras

By: Tanya M. Kerssen

Grabbing Power outlines the history of agribusiness in Northern Honduras—from the United Fruit Company’s dominance in the 20th century to the rise of a powerful class of domestic elites in the 1980s and 90s including the brutal landowner Miguel Facussé, also known as the “oil palm grower of death.” The power of these elites is bolstered by international aid, “green” capitalism, a corrupt media, and US-funded militarization in the name of a tragic War on Drugs. This book also tells the story of the fierce resistance of Aguán peasants and Afro-indigenous communities in northern Honduras, and their fight for the democratization of land, food and political power. This is the first book in Food First’s Land & Sovereignty Series.

Working Hard, Drinking Hard: On Violence and Survival in Honduras

By Adrienne Pine

"Honduras is violent." Adrienne Pine situates this oft-repeated claim at the center of her vivid and nuanced chronicle of Honduran subjectivity. Through an examination of three major subject areas—violence, alcohol, and the export-processing (maquiladora) industry—Pine explores the daily relationships and routines of urban Hondurans. She views their lives in the context of the vast economic footprint on and ideological domination of the region by the United States, powerfully elucidating the extent of Honduras's dependence. She provides a historically situated ethnographic analysis of this fraught relationship and the effect it has had on Hondurans' understanding of who they are. The result is a rich and visceral portrait of a culture buffeted by the forces of globalization and inequality. More here

Bananeras: Women Transforming the Banana Unions of Latin America

By Dana Frank

Women banana workers have organized themselves and gained increasing control over their unions, their workplaces, and their lives. Highly accessible and narrative in style, Bananeras recounts the history and growth of this vital movement and shows how Latin American women workers are shaping and broadly reimagining the possibilities of international labor solidarity.

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Bitter Fruit

By: Stephen Schlesinger & Stephen Kinzer

Bitter Fruit is a comprehensive and insightful account of the CIA operation to overthrow the democratically elected government of Jacobo Arbenz of Guatemala in 1954. First published in 1982, this book has become a classic, a textbook case of the relationship between the United States and the Third World. The authors make extensive use of U.S. government documents and interviews with former CIA and other officials. It is a warning of what happens when the United States abuses its power.

The Country Under My Skin: A Memoir of Love and War

By Gioconda Belli

From Bloombury: Lives don't get much more quixotic or passionately driven than that of the Nicaraguan revolutionary Gioconda Belli. She may have been educated by nuns and dazzled all as a well-heeled society girl, but Gioconda lifted her 'guilt of privilege' by joining the Sandinistas in her twenties, to serve and then lead in their underground resistance. If part of her wanted to fulfil society's classic code of femininity and produce four children (which she did), there was also part which wanted the privileges of men - the freedom to carry out clandestine operations, to forge the Sandinista resistance effort even with toddler and infant in tow.'Conspiracy came easy to me,' confesses Belli. She hid political pamphlets from her first husband as she hid her love affairs with remarkable men. This remarkable book is a journey of the heart, through marriages and grand passions, as well as an insider's view of a revolutionary movement. From Nicaragua and its intrigue to Cuba where she locked horns with Castro, to exile in Costa Rica where she organised an underground network, back to a triumphant if short-lived Sandinista government where she was in charge of State television, Gioconda Belli's life is one of real-life intrigue - political and romantic - and hard-won wisdom. And as a novelist and poet, Belli has created her self-portrait with great skill and eloquence.

Searching for Everardo: A Story of Love, War, and the CIA in Guatemala

By Jennifer K. Harbury

Harvard-educated attorney Jennifer Harbury went to Guatemala to help refugees, and found herself drawn into a political drama that would test her beliefs, courage, and moral strength. She fell in love and married Efrain Bamaca Velasquez, better known as Commander Everardo, a Mayan Indian resistance leader. Soon after, he vanished in combat. This is the story of Harbury's search for Everardo, one that grew into an impassioned crusade to expose those responsible for the human rights abuses suffered upon the victims of Guatemala -- one woman's heroic stand against the Guatemalan oligarchy, the U.S. State Department, and the CIA. A headline-making story of love, war, and courage, this is the personal account of an American woman and her unrelenting fight to uncover the truth behind the disappearance of her husband, a Guatemalan guerrilla leader. More here


Understanding Central America: Global Forces, Rebellion, and Change (Sixth edition)

By John A. Booth, Christine J. Wade, Thomas W. Walker

Understanding Central America explains how domestic, global, political, and economic forces have shaped rebellion and regime change in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras throughout their histories, during the often-turbulent 1970s and since. The authors explain the origins and development of the region’s political conflicts, their resolution and ongoing political change. This sixth edition provides analysis of citizens’ attitudes and participation through 2012 and up-to-date information on political changes in each of the five countries, including the 2013 and 2014 elections. Recent developments include dramatic changes in party systems in Honduras, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua; the extremely narrow victory of the newly elected FMLN president in El Salvador; and Guatemala’s prosecution of human rights abusers. This book is an essential resource, as it provides a comprehensive introduction to the region and a model for how to convey its complexities in accessible language. More here

Inevitable Revolutions: The United States in Central America

By Walter Lafeber

Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica are five small countries, and yet no other part of the world is more important to the US. This book explains the history of US/Central American relations, explaining why these countries have remained so overpopulated, illiterate and violent; and why US government notions of economic and military security combine to keep in place a system of Central American dependency. This second edition is updated to include new material covering the Reagan and Bush years, and the Iran/Contra affair.