Somoza Falling

Anthony Lake, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $18.95 (317p) ISBN 978-0-395-41983-0
Lake, director of policy planning in the State Department during the Carter administration and coauthor of Our Own Worst Enemy , here reconstructs Washington's reaction to the Nicaraguan revolution and the U.S. role in the downfall of Anastasio Somoza. Generally taking a sympathetic view, the author nonetheless exposes State's horse-on-ice responses to the crisis from the January 10, 1978, assassination of the editor-publisher of La Prensa to the entry of the Sandinistas into Managua on July 20, 1979, tracing the development of U.S. policy at various levels at a time when policymakers had been caught unprepared for the crisis. Most of the conferences reconstructed here revolved around the central dilemma of how to extricate the U.S. from Nicaragua without sacrificing American interests in the region, which makes this study a useful casebook for students of foreign policy. The author is critical of State's emphasis on training and promoting generalists and managers at the expense of the kind of ``area experts'' that were sorely needed and absent in our dealings with Nicaragua. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/01/1989
Release date: 02/01/1989
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-0-87023-733-1
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