“It has taken Matt Eisenbrandt a decade to write this beautifully crafted volume, but it was worth waiting for. It is a timely addition to the literature on Archbishop Romero’s martyrdom…. He has produced a gripping detective story…”
“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.“
“[A] fast-paced, often heartbreaking look into a uniquely depraved period of the Cold War.”
“Assassination begins like a crime thriller, complete with a criminal manhunt, before transitioning into a courtroom drama. Ultimately, however, the book’s lasting value is as a work of history…. [A] well-resourced and well-written work that offers a unique perspective on one of the great crimes of the late 20th century and the pursuit of justice that remains, regretfully, mostly denied.”
“[A] remarkable synthesis of the passions, politics and players at work in El Salvador’s brutal last half century…. Eisenbrandt writes not from a front-row seat, but from the stage itself…. It is a dramatic tale that involves remarkable efforts by professional investigators, legal experts, human rights activists and others.”
National Catholic Reporter
[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.
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.
“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.”
“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 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.”