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Description - The Blood of Guatemala by Greg Grandin

Over the latter half of the 20th century, the Guatemalan state slaughtered more than 200,000 of its citizens. In the wake of this violence, a vibrant pan-Mayan movement has emerged - one that is challenging Ladino (non-indigenous) notions of citizenship and national identity. In this text Greg Grandin locates the origins of this ethnic resurgence within the social processes of 18th- and 19th-century state formation rather than in the ruins of the national project of recent decades. Focusing on Mayan elites in the community of Quetzaltenango, Grandin shows how their efforts to maintain authority over the indigenous population and secure political power in relation to non-Indians played a crucial role in the formation of the Guatemalan nation. To explore the close connection between nationalism, state power, ethnic identity, and political violence, Grandin draws on sources as diverse as photographs, public rituals, oral testimony, literature, and a collection of documents written during the 19th century. He explains how the cultural anxiety brought about by Guatemala's transition to coffee capitalism during this period led Mayan patriarchs to develop understandings of race and nation that were contrary to Ladino notions of assimilation and progress. This alternative vision, however, could not take hold in a country plagued by class and ethnic divisions. In the years prior to the 1954 coup, class conflict became impossible to contain as the elites violently opposed land claims made by indigenous peasants.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780822324959
ISBN-10: 0822324954
Format: Paperback
(235mm x 156mm x mm)
Pages: 368
Imprint: Duke University Press
Publisher: Duke University Press
Publish Date: 15-Mar-2000
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Greg Grandin

Greg Grandin is Assistant Professor of History at New York University. He worked with the Guatemalan Truth Commission in 1997-1998.

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