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Poets and Prophets of the ResistanceIntellectuals and the Origins of El Salvador's Civil War$
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Joaquín M. Chávez

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199315512

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199315512.001.0001

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From Resistance to War

(p.229) Conclusion
Poets and Prophets of the Resistance

Joaquín M. Chávez

Oxford University Press

The conclusion examines the transformation of insurgent intellectuals into leaders of the civil war that pitted the FMLN and its civilian allies against US-sponsored Salvadoran governments between 1980 and 1992. These intellectualsled a transition from politics to war that posed an unprecedented challenge to oligarchic-military rule and US hegemony in El Salvador. It ponders the roles that elite intellectuals –professionals, public figures, and scholars–played in the formation of the Democratic Revolutionary Front (FDR), a broad based alliance created by social movements, legal political parties, and civil society organizations. The convergence between the insurgent and elite intellectuals that made up the FMLN-FDR leadership endowed the democratic revolution in El Salvador with extraordinary political, diplomatic, and military capacities throughtout the civil war. The transition involved the massive conscription of social activists into insurgent forces, the creation of a guerrilla army under a centralized command, and the consolidation of the rebels’ territorial control over rural areas.

Keywords:   revolutionary power, divided state sovereignty, civil war, guerrilla army, FDR-FMLN, peace initiatives, US counterinsurgency, Cold War politics, Vietnam War legacies, Omar Torrijos

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