Sandinista Narratives is an analysis of the role of agency in the Nicaraguan Revolution and its aftermath. Jean-Pierre Reed argues that the insurrection in Nicaragua was shaped by political contingency, action-specific subjectivity, and popular culture. He also examines how Sandinista ideology contributed to state-building in Nicaragua while tracing the role of post-revolutionary Sandinismo as a political identity.
Jean-Pierre Reed is associate professor of sociology, Africana studies, and philosophy at Southern Illinois University.
Chapter One: Culture, Ideology, and Emotions in the Study of Insurgent and Revolutionary Agency
Chapter Two: The Role of Religion in the War of Liberation: Christian Insurgents Fighting for Justice
Chapter Three: Sandinismo: A Nationalist Idiom and Ideology in the War of Liberation
Chapter Four: Emotional Events and the Unfolding of Insurrection
Chapter Five: Rebuilding the Nation and Life-Politics during Sandinista Rule
Chapter Six: Sandinista Identity in the Post-Revolution Period
A Brief Conclusion: On Studying Revolutionary Identity and Findings
Jean-Pierre Reed provides an insightful analysis of the contingent and temporal nature of insurgent mobilization, bringing much needed focus on the role of agency in the process of revolutionary changes. Empirically rich and accessibly written, this book is well suited for upper-level undergraduate and graduate courses in the sociology of social movements and revolutions and in Latin American studies. Likewise, scholars specializing in Latin American societies, as well as sociologists with interest in revolutions, social movements, political changes, and even the sociology of emotions will find this book to be an essential contribution to their field.
Enrique Oltuski, chronicler of and participant in the Cuban revolution once rightly said, "No book can ever convey the greatness of a people in revolt." Jean-Pierre Reed’s magisterial life work, Sandinista Narratives:Religion, Sandinismo, and Emotions in the Making of the Nicaraguan Insurrection and Revolution, is destined to be the book against which that claim is measured.
Sandinista Narratives is one of the most interesting and sophisticated analyses of the “subjective” side of revolution which I have read. Jean-Pierre Reed emphasizes the importance of emotions—especially outrage and hope—as well as popular cultural idioms, ideology, and collective identity in Nicaragua’s revolutionary process. He makes his case by focusing closely on the personal testimonies of a great many ordinary Nicaraguans as well as activists. This book should interest anyone who wants to understand the role of culture, broadly understood, in the Nicaraguan Revolution and in politics more generally.
Reed’s clear and compelling text is perhaps our most powerful statement yet on the study of revolution and insurgency that assumes people—their ideologies, their emotions, their cultures, and hence the societies they create—really mattered. Deftly interpolating the people of Nicaragua, cultural theorists, students of revolution, and an impressive range of social science and humanistic scholars, Reed finds a narrative that reminds us that in Nicaragua and elsewhere, people, if not always under the conditions of their own choosing, boldly and bravely make their own history.
[The] scholarly contribution of Sandinista Narratives comes through loud and clear: it is deeply researched, sophisticated in its argument, and highly readable. The book’s fertile blend of granular detail and theoretical acumen make it essential reading for students and scholars of revolutions alike.
Sandinista Narratives is important reading for both students of Nicaragua and revolutions in general.
With its in-depth, wide-ranging, and ambitious exploration of the complexities of Nicaraguan revolutionary identity, Sandinista Narratives makes an important theoretical contribution to social movement research. It expands both the geographic and political range of comparative case studies of mobilization. Likewise, it offers rich and nuanced empirical exploration of the role of reflexive agency, emotions, and popular culture play in radical social change in the Global South.