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The Death of Ben Linder: The Story of a North American in Sandinista Nicaragua

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In 1987, the death of Ben Linder, the first American killed by President Reagan's "freedom fighters" — the U.S.-backed Nicaraguan Contras — ignited a firestorm of protest and debate. In this landmark first biography of Linder, investigative journalist Joan Kruckewitt tells his story.
In the summer of 1983, a 23-year-old American named Ben Linder arrived in Managua with a unicycle and a newly earned degree in engineering. In 1986, Linder moved from Managua to El Cuá, a village in...

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The Death of Ben Linder: The Story of a North American in Sandinista Nicaragua

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Overview

In 1987, the death of Ben Linder, the first American killed by President Reagan's "freedom fighters" — the U.S.-backed Nicaraguan Contras — ignited a firestorm of protest and debate. In this landmark first biography of Linder, investigative journalist Joan Kruckewitt tells his story.
In the summer of 1983, a 23-year-old American named Ben Linder arrived in Managua with a unicycle and a newly earned degree in engineering. In 1986, Linder moved from Managua to El Cuá, a village in the Nicaraguan war zone, where he helped form a team to build a hydroplant to bring electricity to the town. He was ambushed and killed by the Contras the following year while surveying a stream for a possible hydroplant.
In 1993, Kruckewitt traveled to the Nicaraguan mountains to investigate Linder's death. In July 1995. she finally located and interviewed one of the men who killed Ben Linder, a story that became the basis for a New Yorker feature on Linder's death. Linder's story is a portrait of one idealist who died for his beliefs, as well as a picture of a failed foreign policy, vividly exposing the true dimensions of a war that forever marked the lives of both Nicaraguans and Americans.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Journalist Kruckewitt offers a detailed account of Ben Linder's life and his work in Nicaragua during the Sandanista Revolution in the 1980s, culminating in his death, which brought world attention to Reagan's Contra rebels operating in the region. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781583220689
  • Publisher: Seven Stories Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/2001
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

JOAN KRUCKEWITT is a journalist who lived in Nicaragua from 1983-1991 and covered the war between the Sandinistas and the U.S.-backed Contras for ABC Radio. She reported from Latin America and Europe for various radio networks (Pacifica, RKO, Mutual, NBC, Monitoradio, Canadian Broadcasting Company, National Public Radio) and newspapers. Kruckewitt lives in Northern California.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 9
Prologue 11
Chapter 1 Ben Moves to Managua 13
Chapter 2 Clowning in Nicaragua 23
Chapter 3 Ben Finds a Place for Himself 33
Chapter 4 Life with the Brooks Family 45
Chapter 5 El Cua 61
Chapter 6 Little Ant, the Clown 75
Chapter 7 Working in El Cua 91
Chapter 8 A Decision about Alison 107
Chapter 9 Electricity Comes to El Cua 121
Chapter 10 The Next Goal-San Jose de Bocay 139
Chapter 11 Don Moves to El Cua 161
Chapter 12 Mira Visits El Cua 171
Chapter 13 Classes Begin 187
Chapter 14 The War Closes in on El Cua 199
Chapter 15 Ben Goes to the United States on a Fundraising Tour 215
Chapter 16 An American Contra is Captured in Nicaragua 227
Chapter 17 First Anniversary of the Plant 237
Chapter 18 El Cua Graduates Four Local Electricians 245
Chapter 19 Three Americans in One Small Room 259
Chapter 20 Working in Bocay 273
Chapter 21 Attack on the Hydroplant 283
Chapter 22 Ben and Mira Build in Bocay 299
Chapter 23 Ambush 315
Chapter 24 Finishing Ben's Work 331
Epilogue 337
Notes 343
Glossary of Organizations and Spanish Terms 377
Bibliography 379
Index 387
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2002

    Wonderful Tribute to a true American Hero!

    This is well-written tribute to a man who demonstrated the true face of the Sandinista Revolution. Ben Linder's story is a true Shakespearian Tragedy. Readers of this book will be left inspired, but also outraged at the lies and deceit of US policy makers. After reading this book, one just hopes that there are more Ben Linders then Olliver Norths in the world. I recommend this book to everyone.

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