When rebels of the Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional (founded in1961), after an arduous struggle of eighteen years, finally defeated the forty-six year dictatorship of the Somoza dynasty and its allies who had enriched themselves by exploiting the land of Nicaragua and its illiterate, landless and impoverished peasant majority, they had the daunting opportunity to construct a new kind of nation-state which would address the interests of that vast majority in the nation of 3 million.
Walter J. Petry, Professor Emeritus of Fairfield University, made his first visit to Nicaragua in July 1981 and observed the enthusiastic celebrations of the second anniversary of the Sandinista triumph. He came to realize that the former rebel leaders, now officials of their new government and all its ministries, were indeed in the process of creating a revolutionary social order based upon the logic of the majority.
In annual visits from 1983 through 1992 a major concern of Professor Petry was to obtain materials that would illuminate the Sandinista revolutionary project (1979-1990). These collections represent some of the materials that Professor Petry has donated to the DiMenna-Nyselius Library.