State of War: Ms-13 and El Salvador's World of Violence

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Product Details
$15.99  $14.87
Columbia Global Reports
Publish Date
5.0 X 7.4 X 0.6 inches | 0.35 pounds

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About the Author
William Wheeler is a writer and producer whose work has appeared in The New York Times, TIME, Foreign Affairs, The New Republic, McSweeney's Quarterly, Playboy, and elsewhere. He holds graduate degrees in international affairs and journalism from Columbia University. This is his first book.
"This pocket-sized text is the best book on the unintended consequences of American foreign and domestic policy in relation to MS-13, drawing on detailed original reporting and superb synthesis of previous scholarship." --Religious Studies Review

"In State of War, journalist William Wheeler provides a corrective to the overly simplistic (and often outright racist) narratives that proliferate in contemporary American politics. The book makes clear that MS-13's rise is complex, the result of several overlapping factors, including the generational trauma wrought by the civil war, the failures of interventionist U.S. foreign policy, and the Salvadoran government's own corruption. Throughout his analysis, Wheeler embeds personal accounts from former and current gang members, politicians from both El Salvador and the United States, and Salvadoran police and military personnel. Readers are left with a nuanced portrait of MS-13's rise to power in a nation mired in corruption and soaked in blood.... State of War shines a light on the dark networks that conspire to maintain power and wealth at the cost of life and liberty." --Commonweal

"Journalist Wheeler combines a clear sense of geopolitical history and gutsy on-the-ground reporting, producing a compact tale of a slow-motion, violent societal collapse.... An urgent, digestible document of a violently failing state, with clear connection to flawed American policies past and present." --Kirkus Reviews

"In State of War, his gripping, electrifying study of the brutal Salvadoran gang culture, William Wheeler dramatizes with almost painful immediacy a vital truth: that all the fevered talk about a 'crisis at the border' is really an ignorant lament about what three decades of US foreign policy have wrought. At its core, the so-called crisis is about what we as Americans have done to El Salvador and its Central American neighbors. To confront the savage violence ripping through those countries and sending their citizens on a desperate flight north is ultimately to find oneself gazing at the American face in the mirror. With his vivid prose and intrepid reporting, Wheeler has shown us the bloody consequences borne by real people--and given us a powerful, unforgettable book." --Mark Danner, author of The Massacre at El Mozote and Spiral: Trapped in the Forever War