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112 pages, Paperback
First published January 1, 1983
This was a shopping center that embodied the future for which El Salvador was presumably being saved, and I wrote it down dutifully, this being the kind of "color" I knew how to interpret, the kind of inductive irony, the detail that was supposed to illuminate the story. As I wrote it down I realized that I was no longer much interested in this kind of irony, that this was a story that would perhaps not be illuminated at all, that this was perhaps even less a "story" than a true noche obscura. As I waited to cross back over the Boulevard de los Heroes to the Camino Real I noticed soldiers herding a young civilian into a van, their guns at the boy's back, and I walked straight ahead, not wanting to see anything at all.The vagaries of U.S. involvement in the Third World did not begin forty years ago, but El Salvador indicated that somehow, Washington did not know at all how to deal with right-wing (or even left-wing) violence.