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Roberto Lovato


I can’t stop thinking about this book. The experience was almost jarring. Every time Lovato turned over a stone to reveal a new truth, I could feel it lodge itself into my head, burrowing deeper and deeper each time this book made its way into my thoughts. When I was watching TV, reading America is Not the Heart, talking to my mom, this book would somehow just come up.

Lovato seeks to reframe the Salvadoran American narrative that was taken from them by the vapid news media and repugnant politicians. Lovato dismantles everything you thought you knew about MS-13. He dismantles everything you thought you knew about American Imperialism in El Salvador. Because sure, you know it’s bad. Of course you do, but just how bad? And you need to know, you have to know. Because it is your history too. This book is so aptly titled. I got it from the library, and I bought a copy for myself. I know I’m going to need it, on my shelf forever, reminding me to never forget.

Lovato has a stark message and reminder for us all, “Right now, regardless of who wins the elections, Salvadorans have a lesson to teach, not just about overcoming and resilience, but about revolution,” he says, with a warning. “We’re not going to ‘liberal’ or ‘progressive’ our way out of this one.” (LATimes) Let’s hope we listen. @laurathestudent thank you for championing this book here. I would’ve never picked it up if it weren’t for you. And thank you so much for letting me discuss it with you. And really just thank you for being you.

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