Central America is a tiny region, broken into seven even smaller nations. More than 5 million North Americans visit these countries every year, exploring Mayan ruins in Guatemala and Belize, discovering the rain forests of Nicaragua and Costa Rica, snorkeling in Honduras, and cruising through the Panama Canal. Written for a general audience, ""A Brief History of Central America"" focuses on the political events and cultural patterns that have shaped the region. Special themes, such as the causes of unity and disunity on the isthmus and the economic pressures on the rain forest from farming and tourism, are developed throughout the book. Coverage of the history of the region is up to date with new developments, including the continued struggle in the after-math of the civil wars, the impact of the free trade agreement signed with the United States, and recent elections. Coverage includes: ""The Land and Its First Peoples"", ""The Mayans and Their Neighbors"", ""The Spanish Conquest"" (1492-1541), ""The Federation of Central America"" (1823-1839), ""Civil Wars"" (1975-1996), ""The Challenge of Peace and Democracy"", and more.
Lynn V. Foster is a writer, former research scholar, and adjunct faculty member in the Hispanic Studies Department of the University of Massachusetts at Boston. She is the author of Facts On File's Handbook to Life in the Ancient Maya World and A Brief History of Mexico.