is an astounding story of CIA adventurism. It tellsthe story of Operation Success, in which the CIA, the U.S. StateDepartment and the Executive Branch conspired on behalf of theUnited Fruit Company to overthrow the government of Guate-mala. Based on scores of CIA and State Department documentsobtained under the Freedom of Information Act, it is a dramaticrendition of a beautifully planned treachery that may be the mostimportant episode in the history of both the CIA and modernCentral America. Indeed, it was the seed of later secret operationsin Cuba as well as of the bloody revolutions now convulsing ElSalvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua.
With President Eisenhower's approval, Secretary of State JohnFoster Dulles and his brother Allen, Director of the CIA,conceived and orchestrated a plot that would put in power agovernment "compatible" with United Fruit. The plot included apistol-packing ambassador, a propaganda campaign mounted inthe American press, a ragtag "nationalist" army hired by the CIA,a disinformation campaign conducted through clandestine radiostations and mercenary American pilots who bombed GuatemalaCity.
BITTER FRUIT is essential reading for anyone who wants tounderstand why Central America is in flames today. It considersimportant questions of U.S. intervention, the role of multi-national corporations and the mandate of the CIA. It is also afast-paced adventure with as much action and intrigue as any spynovel.
Stephen Schlesinger is a graduate of Harvard Law School, servedas a speechwriter for Senator George McGovern's presidentialcampaign in 1972 and was deputy director of issues for SenatorEdward Kennedy's campaign in 1980. He has edited andpublished The New Democrat and has served as a staff writer forTime Magazine. He taught at Harvard University and the NewSchool for Social Research. He is the author of The NewReformers. Stephen Kinzer is the Latin-American correspondentof the Boston Globe. His articles have appeared in majormagazines and newspapers including The Atlantic Monthly, TheNew Republic, and The Nation. He lives in Truro, Massachusetts.