“Using the investigation as a framework, Eisenbrandt weaves the history of El Salvador with the social and international dynamics (including those of the Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan administrations) that precipitated the assassination and the subsequent civil war that spanned 1980–92…. An intriguing story filled with tragic “if-only’s” and powerful examples of courage.“
“The assassination of Archbishop Romero was a pivotal event that had profound spiritual as well as political effects. When it happened, though, no one expected that it would set off years of tireless investigation and ultimately a spectacular court case in the United States. This sequence of events makes for a rich story that is crying out to be told.”
[A] fast paced, informative and dramatic account…. Imagine a report from Amnesty International written by Graham Greene and John LeCarre in tandem and you will have a sense of Eisenbrandt’s exciting and well-written achievement…. Their win was a triumph for human rights defenders, and this book is a powerful account of how that victory was won. Highly recommended.
“[A] fast-paced, often heartbreaking look into a uniquely depraved period of the Cold War.”
“Assassination of a Saint shows how the quest for justice has gone unbroken, illuminating the ongoing struggle, both for those of us who lived through those turbulent and terrifying times, and for a new generation not then born, but who are now trying to come to grips with it.”
“Much of Eisenbrandt’s Assassination of a Saint is a detailed account of the complex process of tracking down Álvaro Saravia and the various witnesses needed to prove the findings by the UN truth commission that he took part with Roberto D’Aubuisson in the murder of Archbishop Romero. It is a tale told well that provides valuable insights into the motives and modus operandi of the death squads in El Salvador, and of the financiers who commissioned and facilitated such crimes.”
The New York Review of Books
Assassination of a Saint is a remarkable achievement…. This is a must-read for anyone interested in recent Salvadoran history, the life and witness of Óscar Romero, the Catholic Church in Latin America, or the challenge of defending human rights in our world…. Assassination of a Saint reads like an engrossing detective story. It is wonderfully written as it deftly shifts back and forth between analyses of Romero’s life and time, the Salvadoran Civil War of the 1980s, and the post-2000 pursuit of justice.
“Eisenbrandt’s book includes interviews with other witnesses and accomplices of the crime, as well as previously unknown information from the investigation which led to the 2004 lawsuit…. One of the book’s most gripping sections is the testimony of a mole from a leftwing guerrilla group who during the 1980s worked at the Arena party headquarters.”
“Part detective story, part historical reminiscence, it shows the reader how hard it is to prosecute such cases, and why so many human rights violators go unpunished.”
The Progressivenamed Assassination of a Saint one of its Favorite Books of 2016
“A web of lies and obfuscation by U.S. and Salvadoran officials, murdered witnesses and the passage of time have blurred the possibility of finding the truth. Yet this book strives for that hidden truth, a vital, missing link in understanding not just the death of Romero, but the history of Central America and the role of the United States in shaping that history.”