Landau, Saul. The Guerilla Wars of Central America: Nicaragua, El
Salvador, and Guatemala. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1993.
Landau begins his book with a timeline of events and maps of Central America and the individual countries which helps place the book in perspective and gives the reader basic information that would otherwise be lost in the prose sections. He then divides his information into chapters that focus on each nation. These chapters begin with a brief history, no more than five pages, of the events that led to the revolutions. Then, Landau discusses the revolutions, the means through which power changed hands, and the immediate effects of the revolution. He concludes each chapter with a brief description of the long-term aftermath of the revolutions that also discusses the extent to which guerrilla tactics were known to be employed in the revolutionary struggles. This general outline is well-organized and allows the reader to gain the most information about the revolutions without bogging the reader down with facts upon facts. Landau does show a slight bias toward the Nicaraguan side of the argument, which adds to the overall importance of the source since far too many sources have an obvious American bias.
Nichols, John Spicer. "The Nicaraguan Media: Revolution and
Beyond." The Nicaraguan Reader: Documents of a Revolution
Nogales Mendez, Rafael de. The Looting of Nicaragua. New
York: Arno Press, 1970.
This book is unique because of its publishing date: nine years before the triumph of the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. The publishers published this book with the intention of alerting the American people to the operations of the United States in Nicaragua at the time. They believed it to be of utmost importance that the public be aware of the exploitation of Nicaragua by the U.S. as their own "American boys are being killed on foreign soil in the furtherance of heaven knows what imperialistic project." The author is obviously anti-imperialistic and anti-United States involvement, specifically. This bias is obvious in the book, but it offers the often unheard perspective: that of the Latin American writing about the United States, knowing that Americans will reading. His intention is to evoke a response in the reader, and to this end he uses titles such as "The Looting of Nicaragua" that have obvious implications. This source is useful for its perspective and for a record of the time in which it was published.
Rosset, Peter and John Vandermeer, eds. The Nicaragua Reader: Documents of a Revolution under Fire. New York: Grove Press, Inc, 1983.
This book includes major documents, speeches, and articles written by both Nicaraguan and American witnesses to the 1979 Revolution. The authors arrange the contents in four parts, beginning with an introduction to the conflict in Nicaragua and the debates that were being held by the United Nations between the US and Nicaragua. The second part discusses the historical setting behind the 1979 triumph and the building of the revolution. The third section includes two chapters on US intervention in Nicaragua and the response to that intervention. The last section talks about how the FSLN has been governing Nicaragua. This book is very useful to any person who wishes to know more about the 1979 Revolution, US response to that revolt, and the immediate aftermath of the revolution. It weakness lies in the fact that it was published in 1983 and thus does not contain much information on the later years of the FSLN and its downfall or on the outcome of the Contra Affair.
Sklar, Holly. Washington's War on Nicaragua. Boston: South End
Sklarís book is a commentary on the intervention by the US into Nicaragua and is highly informative on this topic. Itís weakness is that because it is such a big topic, it is impossible to cover every event in detail. The most interesting detail from the book is the quotations that are found at the start of each chapter. These quotations, from key players in the Nicaragua Revolution, the Contra Affair, historical documents about Nicaragua, and historical figures from both Nicaragua and the US, provide insight into the events and the mindset of the people involved. This book is best suited for a person interested in US interventions but is also useful in our project because it provides another perspective from which to view the effects of the Revolution.
Walter, Knut. The Regime of Anastasio Somoza, 1936-1956.
Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1993.
Knut's intention in writing this book is to chronicle the regime of Anastasio Somoza, with the knowledge that this will be useful to a full study of the Nicaraguan Revolution. In his introduction he gives the basics of the revolution, showing why his work on Anastasio Somoza is relevant. He aptly connects the historical events in their larger context. In analyzing Somoza's regime, he also provides an overview of the situation of the country as a whole throughout his regime. The book begins with a description of Nicaraguan Society and Politics Prior to 1930, giving the reader necessary background information so that the following analysis makes sense in context. He then continues with chapters titled: The Roots of the Dictatorship; Revamping the State; Crisis, Reform and Repression; Courting Conservatives and Capitalists; Defending and Opposing the Regime; and finally, the conclusion which ties it all together. This source is useful to gain a knowledge of the roots of the Nicaraguan Revolution and to put Sandino in his historical context so that he also may be better understood.
Zimmermann, Matilde. Sandinista: Carlos Fonseca and the
Nicaraguan Revolution. Durham: Duke University Press,
In this book Zimmerman chronicles the life of Carlos Fonseca, the leader of the FSLN revolutionary movement in Nicaragua until his death in 1976. She also chronicles the revolutionary movement, but only insofar as it relates directly to him. For example, the actual revolutionary events which led to the fall of the Somoza government are given only one chapter. She is a dedicated fan, for lack of a better term, of Fonseca, and this bias can be seen throughout the book. It's only real result is a lack of a clear big picture of the events that were occurring, because it is seen all through the lends of events in Fonseca's life. She begins with his childhood in Matagalpa, follows with his school-age years, the influence of the Cuban Revolution on his political thought, the resulting FSLN and its strategy, his time underground, his project of analyzing Sandino's writings and glorifying him as a national hero all Nicaraguans could rally around, then concludes with an analysis of the FSLN movement right before, during and after the time of Fonseca's death. The book ends with the description of the Triumph of the Revolution in 1979. She does an excellent job of interweaving current events and feelings of the people into the narrative of Fonseca's life, so that although the big picture is not always clear, it can be gleaned from her writings in at least a vague form. The book lacks a clear introduction with a background; here it functions more as glorification of Fonseca. Taken as what it is meant to be, a chronicle of Fonseca's life, which is inextricably intertwined with the Nicaraguan Revolution, it is a very useful source.