The author, a Colombian with experience in El Salvador who now teaches in the U.S., has an intimate rapport with his subject matter. He points out the lack of common ground for any compromise between those who cling totally to the past and those who reject it entirely. He opposes current U.S. policy, but gives a balanced, though pessimistic, picture that culminates in Ginsberg's formula: "You can't win. You can't break even. You can't even quit the game."