Democracy. Social services. Clean energy. Universal health care. Even internet for all. There are many reasons that Costa Rica is often featured at the top of the list of happiest countries on earth. Collectively these factors constitute a peculiarity often referred to as Costa Rican exceptionalism. The question often raised is: How? How did Costa Rica manage to surpass its Latin American neighbors, who were beset by political violence, repeated US interventions, and general instability throughout the twentieth century?

In El verdadero anticomunismo: Política, género y Guerra Fría en Costa Rica (1948–1973), two of the nation's most prominent scholars seek to place these questions into the context of Costa Rica's unique experiences during the Cold War. Iván Molina Jiménez and David Díaz Arias are responsible for penning much of the existing historiographical canon in Costa Rican history, and in this volume...

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