From the 1960s to the 1980s revolutionary nationalists in Central America believed that only armed struggle could free their countries from US domination and oligarchical rule. Saul Landau tells the story of three bitter and bloody civil wars. In the 1980s the wars being fought in these tiny nations engaged the entire political world, as the US obsession with the Sandinistas produced the Iran-Contra scandal. In El Salvador the murder of Archbishop Oscar Romero focussed world attention on the torture and murder of Catholic priests in Latin America. In Guatemala, US intervention in the 1950s helped to produce the bloodiest sequence of military governments in Central America. These conflicts had their roots in the extreme inequalities of the region and were fuelled by US financial and military intervention, as US policy-makers saw in every regional conflict a Cold War dimension.