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Blood of Brothers: Life and War in Nicaragua, With New Afterword (Series on Latin American Studies) Paperback – October 30, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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. Illustrated.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Kinzer served in Central America first in the 1970s as a freelance journalist and later as a New York Times bureau chief in Managua (1983-89). An eyewitness to events, he interviewed members of the Somoza, Sandinista, and contra hierarchies. As a result, he provides a highly objective and balanced assessment of events that led to the fall of the Somoza government in 1979. Kinzer avoids ideological bias, but he does note that the Sandinistas came to power because "those most likely to shed blood are the most likely to triumph." Yet despite their many shortcomings, he concludes "the Sandinistas at least provided a basis upon which a genuine democracy could be built." An example of public affairs journalism at its best, his book will stand as the definitive study of Nicaragua in the turbulent 1980s. It belongs in every public and school library.
- J.A. Rhodes, Luther Coll., Decorah, Ia.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: Series on Latin American Studies (Book 19)
  • Paperback: 450 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press; 1st edition (September 30, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674025938
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674025936
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #351,358 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Stephen Kinzer was Istanbul bureau chief for The New York Times and is now that paper's national cultural correspondent. He is the author of Blood of Brothers and co-author of Bitter Fruit: The Untold Story of the American Coup in Guatemala. He lives in Chicago.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 46 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 12, 1999
Format: Paperback
I was a foreign correspondent in Nicaragua for much of the period covered by Kinzer's book. Typically, American correspondents came and went every couple of years; Kinzer was there before the victory of the 1979 revolution and stayed to the end of a most bloody chapter in this country's history. I do not believe anyone has captured better the strange, almost surreal beauty of this land nor the full horror of the bloodbath it had suffered by the end of the 1980s. Those looking for finger-pointing and the moral of the story will be disappointed; but what Kinzer depicts is the truth, a harsh one for all involved.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 8, 1999
Format: Hardcover
...the late 1970's-1980's period. I read this book after having spent time in Central America myself. I think Steven did a wonderful job of telling the truth about what happened in Nicaragua during the years he was there. He showed where the Sandinistas failed, and where the U.S. government failed the people of Nicaragua. Throughout the whole book he really made the reader aware of the stories that these people lived out; from a engineer from Portland, Oregon going down to help out, to the children in the hospitals suffering from war wounds. There is a large amount of history, personal experience, and cultural images to be gained from reading by book.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Alexandra126 on September 23, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Being a refugee who left the country as a child I never got an unbiased look at what really happened until I read this amazing book. It starts off before the takeover of the country by the communist Sandinistas to after the stunning election over a decade later. Stephen Kizer describes thrilling journeys where bombs go off at news conferences and clandestine stumblings into a contra camp. This book has humor (Rice for Peace?!), sadness (the 30,000 faceless people who died in the middle), to the mystical (a fair and poignant treatment of the Miskito Indians). Also the books details the visit of the Pope to Nicaragua which would headline news for various reasons as well as singer Kris Kristofferson (!) lending support to the Sandinista regime whose leaders soon afterwards head off to friendly nations of Libya and the Soviet Union. This book could almost be descibed as the definitive encylopedia of information but it's so much more: If my family hadn't lived through it it would almost read as a spy novel. There is also plenty of photos showing the major players of the conflict as well as personal photos of the author.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By K. S. Duffield Jr. on April 26, 2010
Format: Paperback
I was introduced to Stephen Kinzer's work by an Iranian (said he was really Persian) shopkeeper after we had some long conversations while buying a rug. I purchased a copy of All the Shah's Men by his recommendation and a rug. Later I bought Overthrow and then found an old copy of Bitter Fruit.

I recently returned from a trip to Nicaragua and bought a copy of Susan Meiselas' Nicaragua photos and the subsequent film she made. That led me to purchasing Kinzer's Blood of Brothers which I thoroughly enjoyed. Blood of Brothers gave me a real feel for the country I was visiting and some insight into who the people are and what they have been through. I'm amazed, as a Norteamericano, that I was so well recieved in Nicaragua.

Kinzer's books are informative and his journalistic writing style gives a security that he is doing his best to tell an accurate story without any particular position. It is sad that our government doesn't seem capable of learning from the past.

I watched a CNN special on Cambodia and a couple of quotes from Francois Pouchand tell the truth as ugly as it is. "The governments did not react. You know, countries don't defend human rights. They are always subservient to politics". "Governments are cold beasts looking out for their own interests".

I love my country but our foreign policies are no better than any other country. We may profess democracy and freedom but in the end we support, with might and force, the narrow interest of a few. Usually those narrow interests are not those of the American people nor the people being crushed in various countries.

I'd recommend all of Kinzer's works.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 22, 1999
Format: Paperback
Good comprehensive book on the causes and outcomes of Revolution in Nicaragua. Does a pretty good job of not taking sides. Kinzer was bureau chief in Nicaragua for the New York Times during the 80's. He sheds light on alot of the hypocricies and contraditions the CIA, Contras and Sandinistas were all guilty of.
Not for the Radical Sandinista or Reactionary Conservative
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Kevin M Quigg VINE VOICE on November 8, 2007
Format: Paperback
I am a fan of Steve Kinzer. This is my fourth read from him. I have previously read his books on Guatemala, Turkey, and Iran. I have yet to read his book Overthrow, but I own it. He has a good conversational writting style and I find his books interesting. I understand he is now stationed in Chicago.

This is the second book Kinzer authored. I think he describes the conflict in Nicaragua well. Although Steve is a correspondent for the N.Y. Times, there was a slant to his writing. However he describes the fall of Somoza and the rise and fall of the Sandinistas well. Both groups were dictators. The conflict of the contras, FSLN, the Catholic Church, and the American government of Reagan was the last of the Cold War. Kinzer is critical of the FSLN as well. There many problems resulted in them being voted out of office in 1990. All of this is related in his biography of the conflict.

This is a great read. Kinzer does a nice job with each of his books. I recommend this author.
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