Stephen Kinzer, a former New York Times bureau chief in Nica­ragua, is a visiting fellow at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown. His new book is The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World War. (December 2013)


Glimmers of Hope in Guatemala

The Kaibiles, a special counterinsurgency force of the Guatemalan army that has been accused of human rights violations, Guatemala City, 1988

From Silence to Memory: Revelations of the Archivo Histórico de la Policía Nacional

with a foreword by Carlos Aguirre and a preface by Kate Doyle
Guatemala’s old power structure is losing its grip. All three of the institutions that have run the country as a virtual triumvirate for most of its existence—the army, the wealthy elite, and the Catholic Church—are weaker than at any time in the last half-century. New social forces are emerging. Members of the postwar generation seem eager to learn about Guatemala’s past and help guide its future. The middle class is growing. Movements advocating for the rights of indigenous peoples are active and growing. New forms of communication and social media have made it impossible for the repressive apparatus to function with the impunity it has enjoyed for generations.

Triumphant Turkey?

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his wife Emine at a campaign rally in Istanbul, June 11, 2011

Turkey and the Dilemma of EU Accession: When Religion Meets Politics

by Mirela Bogdani

The Mobilization of Political Islam in Turkey

by Banu Eligur
Politically Turkey has changed more in the last ten years than it did in the previous eighty. For generations the army was able to enforce strict secularism in the tradition of Ataturk, but a new ethos, more open to religious influence, has changed the terms of politics and public life. Turkey has emerged from the shadow of military power, a breakthrough of historic proportions. Whether it is moving toward an era of European-style freedom or simply trading one form of authoritarianism for another is unclear.

Life Under the Ortegas

During the 1970s, Dionisio Marenco was one of many young Nicaraguans who decided to risk their lives by joining the rebel Sandinista National Liberation Front. He helped rob a payroll office to finance the group, joined in planning spectacular commando raids, and narrowly escaped death in a firefight when he …

Big Gamble in Rwanda

Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda

by Roméo Dallaire, with a foreword by Samantha Power

The Rwanda Crisis: History of a Genocide

by Gérard Prunier
One morning last summer, while staying at the Hôtel des Mille Collines in Kigali, Rwanda, I heard a great commotion below my first-floor window. I looked out, and saw a crowd of about one hundred distraught people pressing around a man who was dressed in a Canadian army uniform and …

The Trouble with Costa Rica

The Costa Rica Reader: History, Culture, Politics

edited by Steven Palmer and Iván Molina

Foreign Investment, Development, and Globalization: Can Costa Rica Become Ireland?

by Eva Paus
The CIA needed a very important favor from Oscar Arias after he became president of Costa Rica in 1986. Just across his country’s northern border, in Nicaragua, CIA-sponsored rebels were fighting to overthrow the leftist Sandinista regime. Costa Rica’s outgoing president had allowed them to maintain clandestine bases on Costa …

Kurds in Turkey: The Big Change

The Kurds in Turkey: EU Accession and Human Rights

by Kerim Yildiz, with a foreword by Noam Chomsky

Spoils of War: The Human Cost of America's Arms Trade

by John Tirman
A book fair was underway while I was in Diyarbakir. At the first stand I visited, wedged between Turkish translations of War and Peace and For Whom the Bell Tolls, I found a selection of books with titles like History of Kurdistan and Turkey’s Kurdish Problem. No such books could …


A New Direction for Turkey’s Democracy?

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and top military commanders at the mausoleum of Kemal Ataturk after the military's annual meeting, August 1, 2011, Ankara, Turkey

My report from Turkey in the current New York Review of Books asserts that civilian power in that country has “emerged from the shadow of military power, a breakthrough of historic proportions.” The July 29 resignation of Turkey’s four top military commanders was a capitulation to that reality. It is likely to lead to something Turkey has never known: civilian control of the military.