Reagan Versus the Sandinistas; Nicaragua: The Price of Intervention

In This Review

Reagan Versus the Sandinistas

Edited by Thomas W. Walker
Westview Press, 1987
337 pp. $30.00

Nicaragua: The Price of Intervention

By Peter Kornbluh
Institute for Policy Studies, 1987
287 pp. $8.95

Both books document the Reagan Administration's anti-Sandinista policies in great detail: the first is more scholarly and covers a wider range of issues, including the Indians, religion, the diplomatic record, harassment of U.S. scholars and Sandinista supporters, and electronic media penetration of Nicaragua. William LeoGrande examines the vacillation of Congress. A polemical conclusion by Noam Chomsky is preceded by a balanced chapter by Sung Ho Kim which argues that, while Sandinista aid to the Salvadoran rebels violated nonintervention principles, U.S. intervention in Nicaragua's internal affairs is not warranted. Peter Kornbluh, an analyst at the National Security Archive, focuses on the covert network aiding the rebels, the U.S. military presence in Honduras, the role of countries bordering Nicaragua, and efforts to influence perceptions of Nicaragua. He makes use of some of the Iran-contra revelations (the Walker book was finished before the scandal broke). Both assessments are of course critical, but neither proposes alternative policies.

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