The Contras, 1980-1989: A Special Kind of Politics

The Contras, 1980-1989: A Special Kind of Politics

The Contras, 1980-1989: A Special Kind of Politics

The Contras, 1980-1989: A Special Kind of Politics

Synopsis

Former political officer for the Nicaraguan Resistance (the Contras), Pardo-Maurer shares his experiences of the factional dynamics of that group in this provocative new study. Providing an historical account of internal politics in the Resistance, Pardo-Maurer analyzes the principle factions or issues of contention, devoting special attention to the influence of the U.S. political process on Resistance policy. The book provides an intriguing inside look at one of the most controversial resistance movements of the 20th century.

Excerpt

The reader of this examination of the internal and external politics of the Nicaraguan opposition-in-arms, the contras, is in for several surprises. First, the author combines an unfailingly rigorous analysis that satisfies all the normal criteria of scholarship with narrative skills of a high order. the division of the text into short segments each headed by a concise summary in the old novelistic style is an elegant device that works very well within the compass of this work, keeping the reader on track through complicated events. the language, too, is far different in texture and tone from the standard academic norm. the contra experience was replete with conflictual tensions and factional intrigue, and the author would have slighted both had he not been bold enough to adopt a frankly dramatic manner. the result is a text that even readers not especially interested in Nicaraguan affairs will find most attractive.

Second, this study of the peculiar politics of exiles succeeds very well as a study of politics as such and could indeed serve as something of a model. What others too often dysfunctionally isolate is here found successfully combined: personalities and personality conflicts as well as elective affinities, ideology as both a genuine frame of reference and as the vehicle of symbols and themes apt to be . . .

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