"Terror is the given of the place." The place is El Salvador in 1982, at the ghastly height of its civil war. Didion "brings the country to life" (The New York Times), delivering an anatomy of a particular brand of political terror—its mechanisms, rationales, and intimate relation to United States foreign policy.
As ash travels from battlefields to body dumps, Didion interviews a puppet president, and considers the distinctly Salvadoran grammar of the verb "to disappear." Here, the bestselling, award-winning author of The Year of Magical Thinking and Let Me Tell You What I Mean gives us a book that is germane to any country in which bloodshed has become a standard tool of politics.