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Many flaws, not that the Americans who will read this would care for another version.
Here are two:
a) A near-total lack of Spanish language sources cited; this deficiency is no doubt tied to LaFeber's insistence on the homogeneity and impotence of Central Americans as they do battle with the forces of Eeeeevil.
b) LaFeber tries hard (and succeeds through deceptive statistics and wordings) to frame Costa Rica as a typical Central American republic under the yoke of American domination caught up in turmoil. Much fuzzy math. An example: LaFeber cites, as evidence of Costa Rica's instability in the 1980s, the presence of homegrown "guerrillas." This highly obscure historical "piece of evidence" refers to a handful of armed chaps that never amounted to anything more than curiosities. He also fudges the truth on land ownership, income levels, health and so forth in Costa Rica to paint them as a perpetual nation of victims (these, the people who live longer than Americans by several years and boast ironclad democratic ideals)
c) This book harps on incessantly about Dependency Theory, which is becoming increasingly understood as false along with Modernization Theory, Marxism, etc. Many things are simply left unexplained (why was Costa Rica the first banana republic, and yet so relatively rich in 2000? Was Nicaragua ever really in the world economy? Where is Panama?), the USA is given WAY more credit for the mindsets of Central Americans, and Central Americans are pretty much pushed out of the picture entirely.
LaFeber has tried to unify idiosyncratic regions that are mostly unified only in US political policy, and even then not so much. I would recommend the works of Ivan Molina Jiménez (in Spanish) for a richer understanding of Nicaragua and Costa Rica, as a start.
 

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