In 1990, Nicaragua's Sandinista government was toppled in an election that every major American news organization and pollster predicted they would win in a landslide. Why the Nicaraguan upset and why did the U.S. media get it so wrong? Through an examination of American coverage of Nicaragua since the Cuban Revolution, Why Nicaragua Vanished provides intriguing answers to these questions, and for the first time tests media coverage of a major foreign policy crisis against an independent analysis of the events covered. Robert S. Leiken offers valuable insights into how the media shapes Americans' opinions about the world, and in the process he challenges American cultural stereotypes. Beautifully written, Why Nicaragua Vanished is perfect for all interested in the media, foreign policy, Latin America, or U.S. intellectual life.
Robert S. Leiken is the director of the Immigration and National Security Program at the Nixon Center in Washington, D.C. and a non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.
Chapter 1 An Election Stunner Chapter 2 Nicaragua: A Test of the News Chapter 3 Cohorts: Vietnam and the New Foreign Correspondent Chapter 4 Media Studies Chapter 5 An "All-American-Style Election" Chapter 6 The "Authentic Expression of Nationalism" Chapter 7 Shaking the Imperial Frame Chapter 8 A New Correspondent in Nicaragua Chapter 9 The Media Presentation of the Sandinistas, 1978-79 Chapter 10 Sandinista Popularity and the Nicaragua News Frame, 1979-89 Chapter 11 The Media Presentation of the "Contras" 1981-87 Chapter 12 The System of Stereotypes Chapter 13 Fear and Crowds in the 1990 Campaign Chapter 14 Polls, Press, Professors and "Americo-Centrism" Chapter 15 Who Failed the Test? Chapter 16 Epilogue Chapter 17 Appendix A Chapter 18 Appendix B Chapter 19 Appendix C