In this engaging study of how patriarchy impeded capitalist development during Nicaragua’s coffee revolution (1870 – 1930), perhaps Elizabeth Dore’s most exciting assertion is that “history matters.” If, when they gained power in 1979, the Sandinista leadership had realized that despite the nation’s entry into the world economy, capitalism never fully took hold in Nicaragua, they may have addressed peasants’ demands by redistributing land instead of imposing agrarian cooperatives. As Dore points out, such a policy “would not have prevented U.S. intervention, but it might have stopped counterrevolution from turning into civil war” (p. 180). By misreading history, the Sandinistas condemned their policies.

Well written and cogently argued, this microhistory of Diriomo (a community adjacent to the city of Granada) offers a fresh perspective to the rich field of coffee studies that such scholars as William Roseberry, Lowell Gudmundson, Mario Samper Kutsch-back, and Steven Topik have forged. Juxtaposing archival research...

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