Nicaragua Divided: La Prensa and the Chamorro Legacy

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"A unique and insightful presentation of the essential writings and ideas of Chamorro (very well translated)...clearly and gracefully written. Edmisten puts current Nicaraguan politics into perspective and gives the reader a sense of the complexities of the present situation."--Charles Ameringer, Pennsylvania State University

In the late summer of 1989, a coalition of anti-Sandinistas nominated Violeta Chamorro to challenge Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega in the February 1990 elections. In this story of ...

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Overview

"A unique and insightful presentation of the essential writings and ideas of Chamorro (very well translated)...clearly and gracefully written. Edmisten puts current Nicaraguan politics into perspective and gives the reader a sense of the complexities of the present situation."--Charles Ameringer, Pennsylvania State University

In the late summer of 1989, a coalition of anti-Sandinistas nominated Violeta Chamorro to challenge Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega in the February 1990 elections. In this story of Chamorro’s late husband, La Prensa publisher and editor Pedro Joaquín Chamorro, and of their family, Patricia Edmisten clarifies the interrelationship of family, politics, and economics critical to an understanding of the Nicaraguan conflict and people. As a Time article has suggested, "The private pain of the Chamorro family is a microcosm of Nicaragua’s national agony."

The book’s fulcrum is Chamorro’s 1978 assassination, an event that galvanized anti-Somoza forces and brought the Sandinista front to power. Edmisten traces the family’s fortunes from the beginnings of the antagonism between the Chamorros and Somozas to the Iran-Contra affair and the present ideological division among the Chamorros, a division Edmisten finds typical of Nicaraguan families today and one that reflects the polarity in Nicaraguan society.

Into the historical narrative Edmisten weaves gracefully translated passages from Chamorro’s writings and a touching selection of her interviews with Violeta Chamorro and other family members and La Prensa employees, along with photographs of the family and of historic La Prensa front pages. Although the work is carefully documented, its journalistic style gives it special appeal for the general reader.

Associate professor of education at the University of West Florida, Patricia Edmisten first visited Nicaragua in 1981 with an Oxfam-America study group.

“A unique and insightful presentation of the essential writings and ideas of Chamorro (very well translated)…clearly and gracefully written. Edmisten puts current Nicaraguan politics into perspective and gives the reader a sense of the complexities of the

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Pedro Joaquin Chamorro, publisher-editor of the widely read Third World newspaper La Prensa , was assassinated in Managua in 1978, an event that triggered the Sandinista revolution that brought an end to the Somoza dictatorship. Quoting liberally from Chamorro's combative articles, essays and books, Edmisten chronicles his relentless opposition to the Somozas, his imprisonment, torture, exile and courageous return. Also examined is the ideological split within Chamorro's family, reflecting the complex nature of what the author calls ``this wrenching transitional period'' in Nicaragua. Two of Chamorro's children are Sandinistas; his widow, Violeta, is the United Nicaraguan Opposition presidential candidate. Edmisten, who teaches education at the University of West Florida, maintains a neutral political position--but lauds the Sandinistas for accomplishing a significant reduction in the infant mortality rate. Those who closely follow events in Nicaragua will find the book crucial reading. Photos. (Apr.)
Library Journal
This timely, informative, and highly readable book begins with the January 1978 assassination of Pedro Joaquin Chamorro Cardenal, ends just before the February 1990 elections won by Chamorro's widow, Violeta, and in between chronicles the sometimes divided life of this prominent political family and the newspaper with which it is associated, La Prensa . The author, a former Peace Corps volunteer who first traveled to Nicaragua with Oxfam-America, is obviously sympathetic to the family but does not impose her views on the reader. Her interviews with Chamorro family members inform those unfamiliar with Nicaragua and offer new insights to those knowledgeable about its history. Recommended for educated laypersons and scholars.-- Andrea Bonnicksen, Eastern Illinois Univ., Charleston
Booknews
The assassination of newspaper publisher Pedro Juaquin Chamorro Cardenal was said to have triggered the revolution of 1978-79. Edmisten recounts the story of the Chamorro family to illuminate the forces and factions of Nicaraguan history. Published by the U. of West Florida Press. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813009728
  • Publisher: University Press of Florida
  • Publication date: 3/28/1990
  • Edition description: First
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 142
  • Lexile: 1270L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.44 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 0.60 (d)

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