Revolution in Central America by Glen Alan Cheney is a very factual, to the point book. It explains the attempts to reform governments in South America from the past century.
It first explains that Central America has lagged somewhat behind in the advancement of politics. Many of the countries are ruled over by the wealthy landowners. However, there are many leftists in each country looking for a reform of their current government systems. Many of them are pushing for a Marxist system. Communism is not understood by many people of the lower class, but they like the general idea of it. Many people were also pro democratic reform. Roman Catholicism is also a very important part of the Central American culture. The church has a very large influence in the social and political systems. It preserved the oligarchy for a very long time, but then the church began to shift its views more toward liberation.
Nicaragua is the first country focused on. There have been three American invasions since Nicaragua became an independent country in 1838. When the United States began construction of the Panama Canal, Nicaragua started its own canal. The Nicaraguan government was overthrown and The United States controlled the country for the next twenty years. Then a man name Somoza came into control. He used the Nicaraguan treasury like it was his own money. His son succeeded him and their legacy of corruption continued. The Somoza's controlled virtually everything in Nicaragua, and if you opposed them, you died. Then a revolt was launched against Somoza's regime. It proved successful and Sandinistas gained control. They were aiming for a form of socialism for Nicaragua. However, no progress was made toward democracy.
El Salvador is a country based mostly on farming. It used to be all subsistence farming, but then they started farming for cash crops. By growing cash crops, certain farmers became wealthier than the subsistence farmers.