The History of Nicaragua

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ABC-CLIO, 2010 M05 20 - 175 pages

Notwithstanding Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega's disdain for the United States, our nation has played a significant role in shaping Nicaraguan nationalism, as well as the country's political, economic, and social systems. The History of Nicaragua was written, in part, to help students and other interested readers understand that relationship, providing them with an up-to-date, concise, and analytical history of the Central American nation.

The book begins by describing the people, geography, culture, and current political, economic, and social systems of Nicaragua. The remainder of the volume is devoted to a chronological history, emphasizing recurring themes or factors that have shaped the modern state. These include the importance of elite families such as the Somoza dynasty that ruled for more than 40 years. Other topics include the agro-export model of economic development, modern Nicaraguan nationalism, the Sandinista revolution and its legacy, and the democratic transition that began in 1990.

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Unfortunately this book is full of errors, at least in the pages I was able to review via GoogleBooks. The sections on the Sandino rebellion are especially egregious -- e.g. the author has Sandino marrying Blanca Arauz during the Civil War; says San Rafael del Norte is near the Río Coco; and claims that US citizens owned big estates in the northwestern part of the country. None of this is accurate. The account of the Battle of Ocotal evinces scant familiarity with this event. Disappointingly laden with errors and infelicities, at least in the pages available for review, this appears to be a shoddy piece of scholarship. 

Contents

1 Nicaragua and Its People
1
2 Precolonial Colonial and Early Independence 4000 BC1856
13
3 The Coffee Boom Zelaya and United States Intervention 18561925
27
4 Sandino and the Rise of the Somoza Dynasty 19251959
43
5 The Sandinistas and the Fall of the Somoza Dynasty 19591979
63
6 The Revolutionary Years 19791990
91
The Road to Democracy 1990Present
125
Notable People in the History of Nicaragua
159
A Bibliographic Essay
163
Index
167
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About the author (2010)

Clifford L. Staten, PhD, is professor of political science and international studies and dean of the School of Social Sciences at Indiana University Southeast in New Albany, IN.

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