November 1, 2011
The Guatemala Reader: History, Culture, Politics, co-edited by NYU History Professor Greg Grandin, includes more than 200 texts and images in offering a comprehensive introduction to the Central American nation.
The volume’s works reach beyond the country’s long experience of conflict, racism, and violence to offer a portrait comprised not only the opinions of politicians, activists, and scholars, but also poems, songs, plays, jokes, novels, short stories, recipes, art, and photographs that capture the diversity of everyday life in Guatemala.
The editors introduce all of the selections, from the first piece, an excerpt from the Popol Vuh, a mid-sixteenth-century text believed to be the single most important source documenting pre-Hispanic Maya culture, through the final selections, which explore contemporary Guatemala in relation to neoliberalism, multiculturalism, and the dynamics of migration to the United States and of immigrant life. Many pieces were originally published in Spanish, and most of those appear in English for the first time.
The Guatemala Reader, published by Duke University Press, is co-edited with Deborah Levenson, an associate professor of history at Boston College, and Elizabeth Oglesby, an associate professor of geography and Latin American Studies at the University of Arizona.
Grandin’s 2009 work, Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford’s Forgotten Jungle City, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in History.