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El Salvador Could Be Like That: A Memoir of War and Journalism

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This book is dedicated to the reporters, photographers, and journalists I worked with as we tried to make sense out of the tragic times that came to define much of Central America, especially tiny, bludgeoned El Salvador in the 1980s. The wars that brought us together are forgotten now. So are the lessons they should have taught us. This book is a reminder of both. Peeling a This book is dedicated to the reporters, photographers, and journalists I worked with as we tried to make sense out of the tragic times that came to define much of Central America, especially tiny, bludgeoned El Salvador in the 1980s. The wars that brought us together are forgotten now. So are the lessons they should have taught us. This book is a reminder of both. Peeling away academia and officialdom from the conflict in El Salvador, presenting it as it fell on the backs of the Salvadoran people, the ones who somehow never really mattered in many official eyes, from whatever country those official eyes might have peered. These are snapshots of the underbelly of a largely forgotten war that has wound up on the scrapheap with equally forgotten conflicts. It is a ground’s eye view of that war and of what it did to the peasants, the soldiers, the school kids and union leaders, the shopkeepers, the fishermen and artisans, the parish priests, the everyday, unremarkable people who often wound up in unmarked graves, and also on the edit room floor.


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This book is dedicated to the reporters, photographers, and journalists I worked with as we tried to make sense out of the tragic times that came to define much of Central America, especially tiny, bludgeoned El Salvador in the 1980s. The wars that brought us together are forgotten now. So are the lessons they should have taught us. This book is a reminder of both. Peeling a This book is dedicated to the reporters, photographers, and journalists I worked with as we tried to make sense out of the tragic times that came to define much of Central America, especially tiny, bludgeoned El Salvador in the 1980s. The wars that brought us together are forgotten now. So are the lessons they should have taught us. This book is a reminder of both. Peeling away academia and officialdom from the conflict in El Salvador, presenting it as it fell on the backs of the Salvadoran people, the ones who somehow never really mattered in many official eyes, from whatever country those official eyes might have peered. These are snapshots of the underbelly of a largely forgotten war that has wound up on the scrapheap with equally forgotten conflicts. It is a ground’s eye view of that war and of what it did to the peasants, the soldiers, the school kids and union leaders, the shopkeepers, the fishermen and artisans, the parish priests, the everyday, unremarkable people who often wound up in unmarked graves, and also on the edit room floor.

57 review for El Salvador Could Be Like That: A Memoir of War and Journalism

  1. 5 out of 5

    Maggie Reed

    Astounding and, without a doubt, true. This was current events for me. Now it's history. Things they deny down there categorically, I remember reading about over and over in the less conservative rags in the US. And then there was the AP outlook. I followed it regularly. Nobody messed with those guys and their reporting. Joe was one of my favourites then, and this book proves he is still one of my favourites. Astounding and, without a doubt, true. This was current events for me. Now it's history. Things they deny down there categorically, I remember reading about over and over in the less conservative rags in the US. And then there was the AP outlook. I followed it regularly. Nobody messed with those guys and their reporting. Joe was one of my favourites then, and this book proves he is still one of my favourites.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Tyler Wright

    A needed perspective for someone living in El Salvador. Frazier writes with reverence and hope for the Funes led FMLN in 2012. I wonder what his response is now that Funes is hiding out with the Sandinistas in Nicaragua after fleeing due to corruption charges.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sherrie Miranda

    Customer Review 4.0 out of 5 stars Story of a generous & thoughtful people even in times of war Reviewed By Sherrie Miranda on October 4, 2017 Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase I was disappointed that there wasn't more about Frazier's wife who was killed in El Salvador. I found her story to be very compelling. That said, any story about Salvadorans is always great. The Salvadoran people are generous, thoughtful & unique people; at least the poor and middle class are. If you plan to go to El Salvador, Customer Review 4.0 out of 5 stars Story of a generous & thoughtful people even in times of war Reviewed By Sherrie Miranda on October 4, 2017 Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase I was disappointed that there wasn't more about Frazier's wife who was killed in El Salvador. I found her story to be very compelling. That said, any story about Salvadorans is always great. The Salvadoran people are generous, thoughtful & unique people; at least the poor and middle class are. If you plan to go to El Salvador, make sure you read this first! Learn the story behind: Publish "Crimes and Impunity in New Orleans.” and help us meet our goal. @indiegogo https://igg.me/at/CrimesImpunityNOLAn... Sherrie Miranda’s historically based, coming of age, Adventure novel “Secrets & Lies in El Salvador” will be out en Español very soon! It is about an American girl in war-torn El Salvador: http://tinyurl.com/klxbt4y Her husband made a video for her novel. He wrote the song too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P11Ch... 😉

  4. 5 out of 5

    Gregory

    from http://weeksnotice.blogspot.com/2013/... Joseph B. Frazier's El Salvador Could Be Like That is a memoir by a former Associated Press reporter who covered the country during the civil war. Its value lay in Frazier's descriptions of the people and how both everyday life and politics functioned "on the ground," with what I think is a balanced voice, pointing out inconsistencies or outright lies on both sides (though of course the lion's share of the violence was perpetrated by the right). Some from http://weeksnotice.blogspot.com/2013/... Joseph B. Frazier's El Salvador Could Be Like That is a memoir by a former Associated Press reporter who covered the country during the civil war. Its value lay in Frazier's descriptions of the people and how both everyday life and politics functioned "on the ground," with what I think is a balanced voice, pointing out inconsistencies or outright lies on both sides (though of course the lion's share of the violence was perpetrated by the right). Some of it gruesome, and all of it is sad. It was no easy job for reporters, who were attacked and, of course, lied to. We gnawed through mountains of spin and did the best we could. There remained for a short time a 1950s-style naivete that told us if the U.S. government was telling us something, it must be true. The facts on the ground quickly educated us otherwise (p. 14). It is mostly chronological but tends to bounce around a bit (with funny additions like Surfer Bob, a guy from Florida who came to El Salvador for the surfing and then stayed). I noticed that Tim, who writes at Tim's El Salvador Blog, had recently reviewed it and thought the structure made it more important to have some background. I think that's true, but if you're interested in El Salvador and/or the era it's worth a look.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Juanna Oliva-holloway

    Having lived a traumatic childhood in El Salvador, this book brought back a lot of memories. It is written in a biographical point of view and it envelopes the readers with facts and graphic descriptions of violent events.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    Not knowing much about the Salvadoran Civil War, I picked this up to get a bit of background. I think it might be more interesting to people who either are familiar with the author's work as a journalist or who know more about the war to begin with. It was an interesting book, but many of the incidents described are difficult for me to place in proper context. The author does provide some history to anchor them, but his purpose isn't to teach you about the war. As a memoir, it works pretty well, Not knowing much about the Salvadoran Civil War, I picked this up to get a bit of background. I think it might be more interesting to people who either are familiar with the author's work as a journalist or who know more about the war to begin with. It was an interesting book, but many of the incidents described are difficult for me to place in proper context. The author does provide some history to anchor them, but his purpose isn't to teach you about the war. As a memoir, it works pretty well, but as a first book on the subject, it was a bit challenging to track at times. Anyway, based on the fabulous reviews from others, I'm guessing my three star review is probably due my failings rather than of the book, but since I can't tell, three stars it is.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    Very poorly written and barely edited. It was difficult to get through all the typos, and the smug/flippant commentary of the author about such sad topics was almost unbearable.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jemera Rone

    excellent

  9. 4 out of 5

    Gracie

  10. 5 out of 5

    K. Kumar

  11. 4 out of 5

    Patrick

  12. 4 out of 5

    Tom

  13. 4 out of 5

    Fernando Espinoza, Jr.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sandra Giunta

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jose Abarca

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

  17. 4 out of 5

    Tim Hoiland

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mal

  19. 5 out of 5

    liberty johnston

  20. 4 out of 5

    Bronwen Dickey

  21. 4 out of 5

    Gerardo

  22. 5 out of 5

    Tony Dale

  23. 5 out of 5

    Claire Baxter

  24. 5 out of 5

    Eduardo Anaya

  25. 5 out of 5

    Hector L

  26. 5 out of 5

    Michael

  27. 5 out of 5

    Cathy

  28. 5 out of 5

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  29. 5 out of 5

    Susana

  30. 4 out of 5

    Howard Price

  31. 4 out of 5

    Ann

  32. 4 out of 5

    Sonia

  33. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

  34. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Ann

  35. 5 out of 5

    Darlene Howard

  36. 4 out of 5

    Kirsty

  37. 4 out of 5

    Lillian Kowalewski

  38. 4 out of 5

    Leone

  39. 4 out of 5

    Sandra

  40. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Barrieau

  41. 4 out of 5

    Ilonka Bruce

  42. 5 out of 5

    Melitta Cross

  43. 5 out of 5

    Diane

  44. 5 out of 5

    Liz

  45. 5 out of 5

    Gordon Bingham

  46. 5 out of 5

    Nicola Atkinson

  47. 5 out of 5

    Kim Coomey

  48. 4 out of 5

    Char Hunter

  49. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

  50. 5 out of 5

    Amber

  51. 4 out of 5

    Pam

  52. 5 out of 5

    T Hamboyan Harrison

  53. 4 out of 5

    Cindy Gates

  54. 5 out of 5

    Tasha

  55. 5 out of 5

    Daryl Moad

  56. 4 out of 5

    Sue

  57. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

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