AT THE FALL OF SOMOZA

This powerful narrative describing the fall of Nicaragua's dictator Anastasio Somoza Debayle is told from the unique perspective of the top U.S. official on the front lines of diplomatic activity during the final weeks of the Somoza regime. Lawrence Pezzullo was dispatched to Nicaragua in June 1979, at the climax of a brutal war that finally ended a forty-year dynasty. To negotiate Somoza's abdication from power, Ambassador Pezzullo had to battle both a stubborn despot and the jitters in Washington. At the Fall of Somoza draws on many Spanish-language sources otherwise not known in this country. It is also an eyewitness account of events, evoking the vivid colors, sounds, and smells of a volatile Managua, torn by violence and fear. Lawrence and Ralph Pezzullo provide a rare glimpse into the push-and-pull of U.S. foreign policy making in a cold war atmosphere. Their perspective on Nicaragua in 1979 will be essential reading for students, scholars, and foreign policy experts alike.

"Paced like a thriller. A rattling good read …well-researched and informative."

–The Baltimore Sun

"Unusually frank and gripping. A fascinating, hard-hitting narrative …based on eyewitness participation in the dramatic events of these years, and extensive research and interviews."

- Foreign Affairs

"Eye-opening. A fascinating look at a failing dictator."

- Booklist

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