cover image Hatful of Tigers: Reflections on Art, Culture and Politics

Hatful of Tigers: Reflections on Art, Culture and Politics

Sergio Ramirez, Sergio Ramc-Rez, Sergio Ramrez. Curbstone Press, $15 (148pp) ISBN 978-0-915306-98-5

Nicaraguan writer Ramirez, who was vice-president of his country during the Sandinista regime, effectively portrays Central America as a U.S. fiefdom, an entity run by Yankee ambassadors, bankers and transnational corporate managers who foster a culture of servility, impotence and conformity. In this collection of eloquent essays, sketches, reminiscences, lyrical fragments and travel notes, he discusses massacres of student protesters and assassinations of fellow activists by the U.S.-backed Somoza clan's dictatorship in the 1960s and '70s; pays glowing tribute to Argentine novelist Julio Cortazar, a supporter of the Sandinistas; and analyzes the stagnation of popular culture through ``meaningless vernacular art'' and the constant celebration of the past. First published in Nicaragua in 1986, this volume defends the Sandinista revolution as a drive for national independence from economic and political domination by ``the Colossus of the North,'' and condemns the U.S.-led boycott and CIA-orchestrated contra invasion that, according to Ramirez, crippled socioeconomic transformation. (June)