Lies of an Indispensable Nation Book Review. D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review.

Spread the love

Foto Pedro Chacón

Lies of an Indispensable Nation

Book Review



Por D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review



The poems and essays in Lies of an Indispensable Nation: Poems About the American Invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan are literary representations of social, political, and military quandaries that take an unusual approach in blending an analysis of terrorism with a poetic inspection of its real roots.

 These roots lie in Jimmy Carter’s presidency; in choices made which changed relationships between the U.S. and other nations and gave birth to a form of terrorism that culminated in, rather than being born on, 9/11; and which document ten years of a warped double war that set the stage for the world today.

 In choosing the literary form rather than a nonfiction inspection, Lilvia Soto’s work holds the potential to reach a very different audience than the usual political analysis piece.

 Her essays about her scholarly research blend well with poetic, more emotional reflections of rage and dismay, creating a contrast in lives and experiences that captures sentiments and perspectives from many different vantage points. 

 From the legacy of conflict conducted on foreign soils and brought on by ‘barbarians’ from supposedly-civilized worlds to the build-up of monstrous deceptions and disconnections between truth and falsehood perpetuated by leaders with a vested interest in fostering rhetoric, Soto creates a powerful condemnation of events. This approach recreates history to point out its failure to reflect reality.

 Poems reflect this reality as perceived by those who were impacted by events that reached out to change their worlds.


You will have/all the days of your life/to ask yourself what happened.


Unlike many similar-sounding analyses, Soto’s work holds no pat answers. Indeed, it captures the legacy of revolutionary thought and action as the decades pass: «We talked through the night,/Steinem, Friedan, de Beauvoir,/César Chávez, Martin Luther King./Intoxicated with possibility,/we dreamed, signed protests,/sharpened our pencils.»

 The act of writing Lies of an Indispensable Nation is a revolution in and of itself. The revelation lies in the act of reading it, to absorb the precedents of where America is today in the world.

 Libraries interested in poetry, political inspection, and literature will find Lies of an Indispensable Nation a powerful acquisition. It ideally will move beyond literary readers and into political and social issues circles, where its words and reflections will benefit from debate and discussion groups.


Lilvia, Soto: Lies of an Indispensable Nation, Poems About the American Invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. Atmosphere Press, Estados Unidos, 2022.

Deja un comentario