In This Review

Nicaragua: Revolution in the Family
Nicaragua: Revolution in the Family
By Shirley Christian
Random House, 1985, 320 pp

This is the best analysis we yet possess of the fall of the Somoza regime and the rise of the Sandinistas. The author, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and foreign affairs writer for The New York Times, has firsthand experience and an unusually good insight into Nicaraguan culture and society. Among her conclusions: Sandinista Front leaders intended a Leninist system from the beginning, with close ties to the East; the major Reagan policy problem is failure to address directly the most important aspect, FSLN internal policies, which in turn planted the seed for the contras; both Sandinistas and contras have broad support, but in a crunch the majority, seeking survival, would probably "go with the wind"; the bitter Nicaraguan dispute is not caused by Soviet meddling, nor by economic and social ills, but by conflict over the shaping and exercise of public power.