Culture and Ethnicity
Chapman, Anne MacKaye. Masters of Animals: Oral Traditions of the Tolupán Indians, Honduras. Philadelphia: Routeledge, 1992. Although dated, anthropologist and filmmaker Chapman has written what is certainly the most comprehensive book on Tolupán legends and beliefs, based on her studies of the Tolupán during 1955–1960 and 1964–1965.
Fash, William L. Scribes, Warriors, and Kings: The City of Copán and the Ancient Maya. rev. sub. ed. New York: Thames & Hudson, 2001. While the text is geared toward other archaeologists, the book is full of excellent photos and is packed with information about the dynasty of Copán.
González, Nancie L. Sojourners of the Caribbean: Ethnogenesis and Ethnohistory of the Garífuna. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1988. An academic examination of how the Garífuna came to Central America’s Atlantic coast and of the Garífuna culture.
Ramos, Karen D. Por Cuentas, Aquí en Choluteca; Por Cuentas, Aquí en El Corpus; and Por Cuentas, Aquí en Nacaome. Tegucigalpa: Secretaría de Cultura y las Artes, 1996. Three volumes of oral legends from southern Honduras.
Chamberlain, R. S. The Conquest and Colonization of Honduras, 1502–1550. Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Institute, 1957. Although dated, Chamberlain’s book remains the only detailed, practically day-by-day account of Honduras’s conquest.
Floyd, T. S. The Anglo-Spanish Struggle for Mosquitia. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1967. The book focuses on the centuries-long battle for the Caribbean coast between the English and the Spanish, a little-studied aspect of Central American colonial history.
Newson, Linda. The Cost of Conquest: Indian Decline Under Spanish Rule in Honduras. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1986. Rather than trace the specific course of events in colonial Honduras, Newson relates the broad panorama of Honduras before, during, and after colonization to assess its impact on the region’s indigenous populations.
The Banana Companies and Banana War
Acker, Alison. Honduras: The Making of a Banana Republic. Boston: South End Press, 1988. Acker’s account of Honduran history is somewhat cursory, but the slim volume makes good reading.
Amaya Amador, Ramón. Prisión Verde. 3rd ed. Tegucigalpa, Honduras: Editorial Baktun, 1983. Although technically a novel, Amaya’s famed (in Latin America) work provides an excellent though chilling account of life in a banana plantation from the point of view of a Honduran worker (in Spanish).
Langley, Lester, and Thomas Schoonover. The Banana Men: American Mercenaries and Entrepreneurs in Central America, 1880–1930. Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1995. Although the first chapter is numbingly theoretical, the rest of the book is a fascinating account of the wild characters involved in creating and running the Central American banana empires. Special attention is paid to Lee Christmas, a man who deserves a full-length feature film to do his story justice.
Soluri, John. Banana Cultures: Agriculture, Consumption, and Environmental Change in Honduras and the United States. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2006. A look at the dramatic impact the banana and its production have had on Honduras.
The Soccer War
The two books below provide solid information on the economic trends and population pressures that contributed to the so-called Soccer War of 1969.
Anderson, Thomas. The War of the Dispossessed: Honduras and El Salvador, 1969. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1981.
Durham, William H. Scarcity and Survival in Central America: Ecological Origins of the Soccer War. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1979.
Honduras and the Central American Crisis
LaFeber, Walter. Inevitable Revolutions. New York: W.W. Norton, 1983. Not specifically about Honduras, LaFeber’s classic work brilliantly traces the development of U.S. foreign policy in Central America and the revolutionary fermenting of the 1970s and 1980s.
Schulz, Donald E., and Deborah Sundloff Schulz. The United States, Honduras, and the Crisis in Central America. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1994. Possibly the best book of Honduran history written in English, the Schulzes’ book minutely traces the course of the country in the 1980s, with special emphasis on relations with the United States and the Contras. For anyone interested in understanding Honduras during that time and today as well, this extremely well written, balanced, and occasionally very funny book is a must-read.
© Chris Humphrey and Amy E. Robertson from Moon Honduras, 5th Edition