“Restrained intensity” is how I might describe Andrés McKinley’s excellent and riveting memoir, For the Love of the Struggle: Memoirs from El Salvador, published at end of 2020 by Daraja Press. Marked by intimacy, care and respect, the memoir tells the stories of the Salvadorans with whom Andrés shared life during the popular struggle in El Salvador in the years up to and during the civil war. Revealing how the struggle didn’t end with the Peace Accords of 1992, Andrés brings us up to the present, including the remarkable Salvadoran water protection/anti-mining movement, whose dangerous but ultimately successful, campaign resulted in the first legislated ban on metal mining in the world.
In late February I had a far-ranging conversation with Andrés McKinley, about his book, the people who inspired it, and Andrés’ motivation for writing it at this time in his life. The conversation takes us from the roots of revolutionary struggle in the mid-1970s, through the war period and post-war movement struggles, to contemporary El Salvador on the cusp of the critical Legislative election that took place on February 28, 2021, at the end of the very week that our conversation took place.
Watch the video podcast of that conversation here.