A comprehensive overview of the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua, this book offers an interdisciplinary study of the domestic and foreign challenges that faced the Sandinista government during its ten years in power. Based on extensive research in Nicaragua during the revolution, the essays examine important aspects of both the revolution and the U.S.-orchestrated counterrevolution that brought it to an end. After an introduction to the historical background of the revolutionary period, contributors offer an overview of specific groups and institutions within the revolution, such as women, grass-roots organizations, and the armed forces, and provide a balanced assessment of Sandinista public policy and performance in such areas as agrarian reform, health care, education, and housing. The impact and implications of the contra war, financed by the United States, are also analyzed, as well as efforts made over the years to promote a negotiated peace.
Table of Contents
Preface -- Introduction -- Groups, Institutions, and Power -- The Evolution of Governmental Institutions -- The Grass-Roots Organizations -- The Armed Forces -- The FSLN as Ruling Party -- Opposition Parties and Coalitions -- Women in the Revolution -- Religion and Revolution -- Government Policy -- The Social Programs -- Traditional Medicine in Revolutionary Health Care -- Agrarian Reform -- Economic Policy -- Human Rights -- Foreign Policy -- The Counterrevolution -- The U.S. Role in the Counterrevolution -- The U.S. Intervention in Nicaraguan and Other Latin American Media -- The Search for Peace -- From Contadora to Esquipulas to Sapoá and Beyond
Thomas W. Walker is professor of political science and director of Latin American Studies at Ohio University. He holds a B.A. in political science from Brown University and an M.A. (Latin American Studies) and Ph.D. (Political Science) from the University of New Mexico. Walker is the author of The Christian Democratic Movement in Nicaragua and Nicaragua: The Land of Sandino; the coauthor, with John Booth, of Understanding Central America; and the editor/coauthor of Nicaragua in Revolution, Nicaragua: The First Five Years, and Reagan Versus the Sandinistas: The Undeclared War on Nicaragua. From 1983 to 1984 he served as founding cochair of the Latin American Studies Association's Task Force on Scholarly Relations with Nicaragua. He was a member of the LASA teams that observed the Nicaraguan elections in 1984 and 1990.