Power in the Isthmus

Power in the Isthmus:A Political History of Modern Central America

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A comprehensive yet authoritative study of Central American politics

In this book, the most comprehensive analysis of Central America ever to be published, James Dunkerley provides a detailed account of the history of Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Costa Rica and a series of authoritative studies of their national political systems. Written in a fluent and accessible style, the text is supported by a wealth of charts and statistical data making Power in the Isthmus an essential work of reference.


  • The best guide yet available to the immense complexities of modern Central American politics ... one of the year’s genuinely impressive works of history.

    Times Higher Education Supplement
  • Dunkerley does a magnificent job of describing the contours of the class conflicts and political struggles of the postwar period, and the emerging political and economic crises of the 1970s and 1980s ... The combination of a broad scope, empirical detail, and a carefully worked out analytical framework makes this the most serious and sophisticated history of modern Central America in English and possibly also in Spanish ... A truly major work.

    Third World Quarterly
  • Power in the Isthmus stands out as a model of intellectual maturity executed with masterly skill.

    Journal of Latin American Studies