Good Reads on Nicaragua

Thinking about visiting Nicaragua?  Read up on its incredible history first.  Below is a small sampling of books, but visit these links for more: So you’d like to… Learn More About Nicaragua  and Nicaragua: Surviving US Terrorism.

Blood of Brothers: Life and War in Nicaragua by Stephen Kinzer

In this well-written survey, the former New York Times Managua bureau chief analyzes the roles of the Sandinistas, the Catholic Church and the Reagan administration in modern Nicaragua.

The Country Under My Skin by Gioconda Belli

Motherhood and love affairs under fire, gun running and media work, poetry prizes and exile, and ceaseless combat against misogyny and despair, Belli’s powerfully told story reveals the symbiotic give-and-take of body and soul, art and politics, and altruism and pragmatism that make up the human continuum. A tribute to beauty, valor, and justice, Belli’s giving and clarion book is also an antidote to fear and apathy, and a reminder that freedom is always a work in progress.

The Jaguar’s Smile: A Nicaraguan Journey by Salman Rushdie

Written in the mid 80’s, when Sandinista was a household name in the U.S., the book recounts Rushdie’s whirlwind tour of the small “beautiful, volcanic country” for three weeks in July.
Nicaragua : Living in the Shadow of the Eagle by Thomas Walker 

This new and thoroughly revised edition of Nicaragua details the country’s unique history, culture, social reality, economics, foreign relations, and politics. Its historical coverage considers Nicaragua from before independence as well as during the nationalist liberal era, the US marine occupation, the Somoza dictatorship, the Sandinista regime, and the conservative restoration following 1990.

7 thoughts on “Good Reads on Nicaragua

  1. hi sarah!
    I didn’t see you a very long time (I still don’t go out too much). Just fell over your blog through facebook. I am not a big big blogger friend (-neither facebook – mostly you have to read a lot of sh…. or at least not very interesting stuff) but I have to tell you now, YOUR BLOG is really a nice one. great photos, helpful information etc. I wanted to start one when I came here and never did it (but I have a good excuse named Luna – anyway, couldn’t have done it better).
    continue and I follow you to know what is going on here ;*D
    — have a great time and hope to run into you in San Juan some day not to far away,

  2. Hola! I could not find a regular email address for you, so I am contacting you this way. I was wondering if I could repost your Nicaraguan book list on my Central American Expat website, if I gave you credit and added a link back to your site. Please let me know, thanks! Hope you are well!
    Cathy Brown

  3. Hello again! Just wondering if you have any comments on the upcoming 2010 elections in Nicaragua. Where you live, is there a sense/fear that things will destabilize? Are you planning an exit strategy? Or does it seem more hype that truth? Any sense as to when Ortega will announce whether he’s going to enter the elections again? I realize you may not be a political expert, but we’re looking for on-the-ground feedback from expats in country. Thanks again!

    • My bad, I see that presidential elections aren’t until Nov 2011. Nevertheless, I’d love to hear any insights you might have on this political stuff. Thanks.

    • Hi There,
      I tend to stay out of the political sutff as much as possible, but here’s some feedback from the hubby:
      “Sometimes the N. American media can really make Nicaragua look like a scary place. Ortega has aligned himself with Chavez due to ugly past history of American intervention and, of course, a sweet deal on oil/petroleum. Ortega is certainly not just a regular old democratically elected president. He’s been able to build up considerable wealth over the last 15 years, so much that he probably has more money than the federal government here. This enables him to mess with the rules and influence everything that happens here. He’s been able to repress opposition, but to be fair the opposition is extremely fragmented and disorganized. He’s also managed to change the constitution to allow for another term if he’s ‘elected’ again. Political violence here is viewed in a negative light, nobody wants to see that. When people start throwing rocks, etc. its usually in Managua and nothing really happens down here in SJdS. One thing I’ve heard from Nicaraguan elite is that Ortega could realize he’s too polarizing, step back and promote a different Sandanista to be president, then rule from behind the scenes. This would keep his party (and himself) in power yet avoid disturbances on the streets.”

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