TWILIGHT STRUGGLE: American Power and Nicaragua, 1977-1990

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9780028740577: TWILIGHT STRUGGLE: American Power and Nicaragua, 1977-1990

A detailed history and analysis of the Nicaraguan Revolution and the American response to it.

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Review:

Robert Kagan, an adviser on Central American policy in the Reagan administration, offers a sharply critical history of what he perceives to be American missteps in Nicaragua during a time of revolution. A tiny and politically inconsequential country, Nicaragua occupied a front-burner place in negotiations between the United States and Soviet Union, even when neither party seemed to care much about the ultimate fate of that nation. In the end, the Reagan doctrine of containment ended in failure, as an avowedly Marxist government held power for more than a decade. But so, too, did the Soviet doctrine of expansionism yield no fruit. Kagan credits Costa Rican president Oscar Arias with finding a way to break the impasse in U.S.-Soviet-Nicaraguan relations, thanks to which the Bush administration restored full diplomatic exchange and negotiated the free elections that brought democratic forces to power in Managua.

From Publishers Weekly:

Kagan contends that the Carter administration's halfhearted intervention in Nicaragua was in response to American feelings of guilt for Washington's longtime support of the Somoza dynasty. The Reagan-era intervention, on the other hand, originated in American anxiety over Soviet encroachment in the Western hemisphere. Kagan recounts how American popular aversion to the employment of U.S. military muscle in Central America led to the administration's covert support of the contras and goes on to explain how the clash between the Reagan White House and Congress over "freedom fighter" funding led to the Iran-contra affair in 1987. Although the surprising electoral victory of Violeta Chamorro over the Sandinistas was widely recognized as a success for American policy, the U.S. remains caught in a continuous cycle of intervention and withdrawal in Nicaragua, according to Kagan. As a member of the State Department's Policy Planning Staff, Kagan was a direct participant in many of the events described in this authoritative and definitive account of U.S.
Nicaragua relations from 1977 to 1990.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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