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.
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