OK, here´s a little more detailed account of my current problem. This book I found is essentially one version of what I was planning to write as my dissertation. It varies structurally, but in terms of the information I was planning to discuss, it´s all there. It´s a public health study, which is good for me, cause I´ll be studying this from an historical perspective, which in academia is substantially different, but this still poses a significant set-back for me.
So I´m not a total idiot, it wasn´t like I just didn´t know this book existed before I started. I´d found a copy of his early manuscript and read it, but this book was initially published in 1985, which is 6 years prior to the end of the period I am studying. Clearly, this early version was more of an aid than a hindrance to my study. So that was the version I read, the 1985 version. Having read it and made notes, I went ahead and purchased the book online to have as a reference. I picked the book up when I was back in the States last month, and now here in Matagalpa I started re-reading it just to refresh my mind about some of the early MINSA (Ministry of Health) policy adjustments. That was when I realized that the authors had re-published, having done additional research, in 1992, and that was the version I purchased, unknowingly, online. This version of the book was much better, more complete, and they had also done some oral history interviews, which sort of steals my thunder as well, since that´s a large part of my research.
So this is totally my fault, just sloppy preliminary work on my part. I should´ve looked much more carefully into this book and potential re-publishings, and I´m kicking myself hard in the face (which, while difficult, I´ve discovered is entirely possible) for not seeing this coming. Argh.
Nonetheless, I know I can work around this, I can re-direct and do additional research, pose new and interesting questions. I feel a little cut off from my support network of super-intelligent history collaborators back home in Austin. (Drea, Spaceman Spiff, Mutt, Penata, Scrubs, Books, where are you when I need you?!) I´m well into an oral history project up here, and I really feel like I just want to slam on the brakes to re-think this for a while, discover which re-directs I want to take, which new angles I want to explore. Not feasible, however, so I guess I´m just going to keep going, and see what I see. All is not lost, I just feel flummoxed and frustrated and a little like a little kid playing Pin the Tail on the Donkey. Lucky for me I´ve been feeling so absolutely chipper lately, as I feel like in spite of all the metaphorical dizziness, I´m taking this pretty much in stride.
Thanks for all your comments yesterday, and I´ll start posting about stuff of more charm, elegance, and sparkle very shortly now. Ta-ta-ta-RAAAAAAAA!