by Elisabeth Jean Wood - £25.99 Cambridge University Press (2003)
paperback ISBN 13: 9780521010504 | ISBN 10: 0521010500
Widespread support among rural people for the leftist insurgency during the civil war in El Salvador challenges conventional interpretations of collective action. Those who supplied tortillas, information, and other aid to guerillas took mortal risks and yet stood to gain no more than those who did not. Wood's rich tapestry of explanation is based on oral histories gathered from peasants who supported the insurgency and those who did not over a period of many years during and immediately following the war, and interviews with military commanders of both sides. Peasants supported the FMLN, Wood found, not for any material gain that was contingent on their participation, but rather for moral and emotional reasons. In supporting the insurgency they not only defied state violence, they also affirmed their dignity and autonomy after generations of contempt by the landed elite. And as their successes mounted, others joined in to participate in writing a page in the history of their locality. Wood's alternative model places emotions and morals, as well as conventional interests, at the heart of collective action.
(Price & availability last checked: March 2018)