The Sandinista Revolution

A Global Latin American History

By Mateo Jarquín

336 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 3 maps

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-7849-8
    Published: April 2024
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-7848-1
    Published: April 2024
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-1-4696-7850-4
    Published: April 2024

New Cold War History

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The Sandinista Revolution and its victory against the Somoza dictatorship in Nicaragua gripped the United States and the world in the 1980s. But as soon as the Sandinistas were voted out of power in 1990 and the Iran Contra affair ceased to make headlines, it became, in Washington at least, a thing of the past.

Mateo Jarquín recenters the revolution as a major episode in the history of Latin America, the international left, and the Cold War. Drawing on research in Nicaragua, Cuba, Mexico, Panama, and Costa Rica, he recreates the perspective of Sandinista leaders in Managua and argues that their revolutionary project must be understood in international context. Because struggles over the Revolution unfolded transnationally, the Nicaraguan drama had lasting consequences for Latin American politics at a critical juncture. It also reverberated in Western Europe, among socialists worldwide, and beyond, illuminating global dynamics like the spread of democracy and the demise of a bipolar world dominated by two superpowers.

Jarquín offers a sweeping analysis of the last left-wing revolution of the twentieth century, an overview of inter-American affairs in the 1980s, and an incisive look at the making of the post–Cold War order.

About the Author

Mateo Jarquín is assistant professor of history at Chapman University.
For more information about Mateo Jarquín, visit the Author Page.


"An important contribution to the study of the Nicaraguan Revolution as well as to diplomatic history. The book goes beyond previous discussions on international support for the Sandinistas before their 1979 triumph by actually analyzing the reasons for support from Venezuela, Panama, Mexico, and Costa Rica."—Jeff Gould, Institute for Advanced Study

"An impressive and original synthesis of the period that combines different scales of reference and perspectives. Mateo Jarquín has written a history of global significance with far reaching implications for how historians think about the end of the Cold War in the Americas and the making of our contemporary world."—Tanya Harmer, London School of Economics