Since the July 1979 fall of the Somoza dictatorship in Nicaragua, numerous volumes have appeared in Spanish describing and analyzing the revolution and the victorious Erente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional (FSLN). The value of these works has varied greatly, some being little more than collections of anecdotes, and others largely polemics, denouncing Somoza and the United States and praising the FSLN. For the historian, this small volume compiled by Pilar Arias will continue to have considerable vaine long after the majority of contemporary publications are forgotten.

After brief introductions by the author and FSLN leader Humberto Ortega, the bulk of the volume is taken up by verbatim transcriptions of interviews with leaders of the FSLN. Most are from more than sixty hours of tape recordings prepared by Pilar Arias, hut some materialcomes from speeches and, in a few cases, from previously published articles. The discussions date from the founding of the FSLN in 1961. Those interviewed include not only actual combatants, but political supporters of the FSLN such as Nicaraguan junta members Sergio Ramírez and Moisés Hassán. Their contributions shed new, and often important, light on the role of such groups as Los Doce and the United Peoples Movement (MPU). While obviously biased in favor of the Sandinistas and often quite selective in their reminiscences, these accounts provide a major primary source for the history of the Nicaraguan revolution.

There are some disappointments in the volume. The value for historians might have been enhanced had more space been devoted to the key year of 1978 (only 21 pages) and less to some of the FSLN’s earlier, less successful efforts. On the whole, however, this is a most worthwhile effort that must be consulted by anyone writing on the Nicaraguan revolution. The work’s value is further enhanced by the inclusion of a chronology of the history of the FSLN, seven pages of brief biographies of those included in the volume, and even a glossary of terms and Nicaraguan expressions used in the interviews.