In This Review

Our Guerrillas, Our Sidewalks: A Journey Into the Violence of Colombia
Our Guerrillas, Our Sidewalks: A Journey Into the Violence of Colombia
By Herbert Braun
University Of Colorado Press, 1995, 239 pp.

A grim and compelling account of the 1988 kidnapping of Texas-born oilman and longtime Colombia resident Jake Gambini by Marxist guerrillas, written by Herbert "Tico" Braun, Gambini's Colombian brother-in-law and a history professor at the University of Virginia. The fast-paced narrative, which has the makings of a movie script worthy of Alfred Hitchcock, is constructed around a series of narratives and diaries from the individuals involved, reconstructing their thoughts and actions during the complex negotiations that eventually led to Gambini's release and return to the United States. This memorable book takes the reader inside the Colombian revolutionary movements and politics, examines the psychology of conflict resolution, and shines with human perseverance and courage in the face of despair and adversity. Braun provides an intimate examination of a phenomenon rarely captured in print, often covered up by the victims and their families, but which remains very much part of the Latin American landscape.