House on Ninth Street


201 pages
Contains Photos, Bibliography
ISBN 0-920953-67-0
DDC 323'.097281





Reviewed by Ronald N. Harpelle

Ronald N. Harpelle is an assistant professor of history at the
University of Manitoba.


This collection of photographs and interviews is an emotional testament
to the 40,000 people who have been “disappeared” by Guatemalan
authorities since 1966 and to the families they left behind. Towell
offers excellent insights into the impact of state terrorism, revealing
through photos and interviews with members of GAM (an organization of
family members of the “disappeared”) the effects of the Guatemalan
government’s systematic repression. The author remains distant enough
to allow his interviewees to tell the story in their own words. Clyde
Snow, a forensic anthropologist, argues that it is a mistake to believe
that the military is in control. “They’re just another set of
scapegoats. The power structure is the elite, the investors, the guys
who build the hotels and run the good old establishment.” His point is
that international opinion has a direct impact on events in Guatemala
and that it is important for the world community to express its disgust.

This is a book for activists, educators, and travelers who want to know
more about Guatemala.


Towell, Larry., “House on Ninth Street,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 24, 2024,