In this highly original, creative, and illuminating study, Daniel Chávez interrogates twentieth-century Nicaraguan history through the lens of utopian political and literary discourses as expressed during three successive state formations: the era of Somocismo (1937–1979), the period of the Sandinista Revolution (1979–1990), and the postrevolutionary neoliberal governments that followed (1990–2000). Within each period, the author first offers a reading of the most salient features of the state's utopian discourse: how the state portrayed itself as leading the nation toward a better and more prosperous future. He then explores, often in considerable detail, a select corpus of literary and cultural products that emerged in response to the state's discursive projections. The result is a genuinely dialectical analysis that locates both the state's top-down utopian discourses and the bottom-up cultural productions of the state's supporters and critics within a wider field of cultural contestations over the production and propagation of meaning—especially about...
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Book Review| February 01 2017
Nicaragua and the Politics of Utopia: Development and Culture in the Modern State
Nicaragua and the Politics of Utopia: Development and Culture in the Modern State. By Chávez, Daniel.
Vanderbilt University Press,
Photographs. Maps. Figures. Tables. Notes. Bibliography. Index. x, 363 pp. Cloth, $65.00.
Michael J. Schroeder
Hispanic American Historical Review (2017) 97 (1): 171–173.
Michael J. Schroeder; Nicaragua and the Politics of Utopia: Development and Culture in the Modern State. Hispanic American Historical Review 1 February 2017; 97 (1): 171–173. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00182168-3727695
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