Books About Nicaragua – Blood of Brothers

Blood of Brothers is one of the most fascinating books on Nicaraguan history.  This book focuses on the civil war in the 1980’s and what led up to the war.  The book is written by Stephen Kinzer who first began writing for the Boston Globe in the 1970’s.

Nicaragua Magazine Books About Nicaragua

  He made several trips to Nicaragua during the 1970’s.  Later he got a job with the New York Times.  Because of everything that was happening in the region, he moved to Nicaragua full time in 1983 and became the New York Times bureau chief in Nicaragua. 

For anyone making a trip or moving to Nicaragua this book is a must read.  Kinzer provides a unique, unbiased take on what was happening on the ground in Nicaragua.  He was able to interview the higher ups in the Sandinista government, the contras, and those that had belonged to the Somoza regime.  Kinzer provides the background on why Nicaragua was where it was, starting with Augusto Cesar Sandino’s anti-US campaign from 1927-1933 helped shape Nicaraguan politics in the future.

Kinzer was able to interview Daniel Ortega one on one and  many other top level government executives including Lenin Cerna the head of state security.  The interviews of ordinary citizens provide unique back stories to what was going on.  One of the highlights was Kinzer’s discovery of the contra camp that was being supplied by the US government.  This hit the front page of the news because the Reagan administration had strongly denied any involvement.

In the end Kinzer provides his own take on why the Sandinistas ended up losing power in 1990.  He concludes the Sandinistas were revolutionaries who were not prepared run a country.  They also underestimate the influence of the Catholic Church in Nicaragua and lost a lot of support by mistreating the Miskito Indians.  Had the Sandinistas done things a little differently then Nicaraguan history would have gone in a different direction.

Every chapter in this book provides stories that help catch the readers’ attention.  Kinzer is able to answer the questions that readers may be having as they are reading the book.  He also does a great job of describing the surroundings and settings of all his experiences providing a better glimpse into what Kinzer was seeing, feeling and experiencing first hand.  Look up any reviews on this book and it will be hard to find any that did not enjoy and learn a lot from reading this book.

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