Blood of Brothers

Stephen Kinzer, Author Putnam Publishing Group $24.95 (450p) ISBN 978-0-399-13594-1
By the former New York Times Managua bureau chief, this is a well-written, information-rich survey of modern Nicaragua. Kinzer describes how Cesar Sandino's 1927-33 anti-U.S. campaign shaped the country's political development and inspired the overthrow of the Somoza regime in 1979. He analyzes the Reagan administration's ``secret war'' against the Sandinistas, and the deception that the contras existed only to interdict arms shipments to El Salvador. Kinzer relates many personal stories of his interaction with Nicaraguans, and he includes the exciting tale of his on-the-spot discovery of a U.S.-supplied contra camp in Honduras--a front-page scoop. He traces the confrontation between the Catholic church and the junta, the peace initiative by Costa Rica's Oscar Arias, the negotiated settlement that more or less ended the conflict and the surprising electoral victory of Violeta Chamorro over Daniel Ortega in 1990. Kinzer concludes that the Sandinistas grossly underestimated the moral power of the Catholic bishops, that they lost significant support by mistreating the Miskito Indians, and that they mistakenly believed they could build a prosperous Nicaragua ``without deferring to the principle of free enterprise.'' Photos. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1991
Release date: 04/01/1991
Paperback - 978-0-385-42258-1
Paperback - 460 pages - 978-0-674-02593-6
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