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Nook & Cranny Books

Harsh Times by Mario Vargas Llosa

Harsh Times by Mario Vargas Llosa

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The true story of Guatemala’s political turmoil of the 1950s as only a master of fiction can tell it

Guatemala, 1954. The military coup perpetrated by Carlos Castillo Armas and supported by the CIA topples the democratic government of Jacobo Árbenz. Behind this violent act is a lie that will have drastic consequences for the entire region: the accusation by the Eisenhower administration, determined to protect American commercial interests in Central America, that Árbenz encouraged the spread of Soviet Communism in the Americas.

Harsh Times is a story of international conspiracies and conflicting interests in the time of the Cold War, echoes of which still reverberate today. In this thrilling novel, the Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa invents vivid characters who go to the heart of the dilemmas of Guatemala’s history in a deeply textured blending of fact and fiction that is his alone. Not since The Feast of the Goat, his classic novel about the downfall of the Trujillo regime in the Dominican Republic, has Vargas Llosa combined political intrigue and suspense so compellingly.

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