War by Other Means places violence in contemporary Guatemala in historical context, exploring “the violence war both channels from earlier times and generates anew” and questioning “histories of the future,” or “the promise that an ‘after’ to this war will someday come” (p. 10). Part of a new wave of scholarship on neoliberal Guatemala, this volume's fine-grained studies bridge wartime and postwar violence in local communities. The work also interrogates how popular narratives of the future's possibilities have evolved, making it both an insightful anthropology of postwar Guatemala and a richly detailed history of the war and its aftermath at the local level.

The first of four sections, “Surveying the Landscape: Histories of the Present,” explores the conjunctures between popular political organizing, often Mayan, and state violence. A 500-year overview by Greg Grandin focuses on the relations between the state and indigenous...

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