HURRICANE IN NICARAGUA: A Journey in Search of Revolution by Richard West

HURRICANE IN NICARAGUA: A Journey in Search of Revolution

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Here, British journalist West gives a snide account of his two trips to Nicaragua under the Sandinistas as he visits the haunts of three famous men in Nicaragua's history: poet Ruben Dario; North American soldier-of-fortune William Walker; and 1930's rebel Augusto Sandino. West says the Sandinistas used the images of these three figures in propaganda to support their government, and he aims to set the record straight. According to West, Walker's 1855 invasion actually saved the country from destruction for a few years by keeping Nicaragua's two rival political factions from burning down each other's strongholds. His brief discussion of these two 19th-century factions, one headed by the Chamorro family, gives a glimpse of the tradition behind the nation's President-elect Violeta Chamorro, whose victory came months after West finished the text. West also claims that, like Dado, Sandino was not as anti. US as the Sandinistas claim. However, to document Sandino's brutality, West says that Sandino's seal showed one of his soldiers chopping off the head of a US marine. Throughout his three anecdotal biographies, West weaves charming descriptions of Nicaragua, and quotes Nicaraguans' anti-Sandinista comments. He himself never explicitly criticizes the Sandinistas and other left Latin leaders, but prefers simply to call them ""terrorists"" and ""windbags."" This collage of anecdotes and historical tales becomes a mush--one likely to leave informed readers skeptical and uninformed readers in the dark.

Pub Date: May 3rd, 1990
Publisher: Michael Joseph/Viking