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...

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