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Book Review: The Salvador Option

October 20, 2016

Despite decades of military support and millions in development aid, for many Americans El Salvador remains a caricature, caught somewhere between an episode of Gangland and the milieu of sex, alcohol and jungle violence portrayed in Oliver Stone’s 1986 film, Salvador.

Those Americans who do spare a thought for the tiny country are prone to oversimplification. Some are quick to excuse Washington’s support for its authoritarian leadership in the 1970s and ’80s by using the Cold War to excuse all manner of sin. Others glorify leftist...

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