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The Death of Ben Linderby Joan Kruckewitt
Synopses & Reviews
In 1987, the death of Ben Linder, the first American killed by President Reagan's "freedom fighters" — the U.S.-backed Nicaraguan Contras — ignited a firestorm of protest and debate. In this landmark first biography of Linder, investigative journalist Joan Kruckewitt tells his story.
In the summer of 1983, a 23-year-old American named Ben Linder arrived in Managua with a unicycle and a newly earned degree in engineering. In 1986, Linder moved from Managua to El Cuá, a village in the Nicaraguan war zone, where he helped form a team to build a hydroplant to bring electricity to the town. He was ambushed and killed by the Contras the following year while surveying a stream for a possible hydroplant.
In 1993, Kruckewitt traveled to the Nicaraguan mountains to investigate Linder's death. In July 1995. she finally located and interviewed one of the men who killed Ben Linder, a story that became the basis for a New Yorker feature on Linder's death. Linder's story is a portrait of one idealist who died for his beliefs, as well as a picture of a failed foreign policy, vividly exposing the true dimensions of a war that forever marked the lives of both Nicaraguans and Americans.
Book News Annotation:
Journalist Kruckewitt offers a detailed account of Ben Linder's life and his work in Nicaragua during the Sandanista Revolution in the 1980s, culminating in his death, which brought world attention to Reagan's Contra rebels operating in the region.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
The author, a journalist who lived in Nicaragua from 1983 to 1991, reveals the truth about the first American killed by the CIA-backed Contras--an idealistic young engineer from Oregon whose efforts to make the country more self sufficient made him a target.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 379-386) and index.
About the Author
JOAN KRUCKEWITT is a journalist who lived in Nicaragua from 1983-1991 and covered the war between the Sandinistas and the U.S.-backed Contras for ABC Radio. She reported from Latin America and Europe for various radio networks (Pacifica, RKO, Mutual, NBC, Monitoradio, Canadian Broadcasting Company, National Public Radio) and newspapers. Kruckewitt lives in Northern California.
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