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Overthrow Americas Century of Regime Change From Hawaii to Iraq by Stephen Kinzer - Great Book

Overthrow Americas Century of Regime Change From Hawaii to Iraq by Stephen Kinzer - Great Book

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Published by: harryh778 on Oct 27, 2011
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Overthrow: Americas Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq by Stephen Kinzer

The Real United States History

“Detailed, passionate and convincing . . . [with] the pace and grip of a good thriller.”—Anatol Lieven, The New York Times Book Review Regime change” did not begin with the administration of George W. Bush, but has been an integral part of U.S. foreign policy for more than one hundred years. Starting with the toppling of the Hawaiian monarchy in 1893, the United States has not hesitated to overthrow governments that stood in the way of its political and economic goals. The invasion of Iraq in 2003 is but the latest example of the dangers inherent in these operations. In Overthrow, Stephen Kinzer tells the stories of the audacious politici ans, spies, military commanders, and business executives who took it upon themselves to depose foreign regimes. He details the three eras of America’s regime-change century—the imperial era, which brought Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Nicaragua, and Honduras under America’s sway; the cold war era, which employed covert action against Iran, Guatemala, South Vietnam, and Chile; and the invasion era, which saw American troops toppling governments in Grenada, Panama, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Kinzer explains why the U.S. government has pursued these operations and why so many of them have had disastrous long-term consequences, making Overthrow a cautionary tale that serves as an urgent warning as the United States seeks to define its role in the modern world. Features: * Click here to view our Condition Guide and Shipping Prices Hawaii. Cuba. Philippines. Honduras. Nicaragua. Guatemala. Vietnam. Iran. Chile. Grenada. Afghanistan. Iraq. What do all these countries have

in common? They all have been victims, either directly or indirectly, of American regime change operations. The reasons for American intervention varied from case to case, but the common denominators in most instances were anti-communism and/or the protection of American business interests. Not surprisingly, the CIA has done the footwork for most of these operations, at least since its establishment in 1947. Written by veteran journalist Stephen Kinzer, author of All the Shahs Men, this dramatic narrative is an eye-opening journey through the annals of American foreign policy. While the stories of Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam are generally wellknown, many of the others are not. Cuba and the Philippines of course were acquired as a result of American victory in the Spanish-American war, but rather than granting these nations the independence they so desperately sought, the American government simply replaced the Spanish as colonial masters. To do this, they were forced to violently put down the respective native rebellions. The sovereign Monarc hy of Hawaii was overthrown as a result of a plot designed by American businessmen in order to control the lucrative sugar trade. The governments of Nicaragua, Honduras, Iran and Chile were all overthrown in the context of the Cold war, where a fervent anti-communist sentiment swept through the US government. This led to a mindset where everything was seen through the eyes of the Cold war, and every nationalist and independence movement was viewed with suspicion. Soviet manipulation was seen lurking around every corner and as a result, many democratic and nationalist movements were brutally supressed. As Kinzer writes, the anti-communist view, and the pro-American business view were so intertwined that they often merged as one. Any threat to American business, such as a given countrys nationalization of their resources, was seen as a potential move towards communism which had to be stopped. Many of the overthrown leaders had been democratically elected, and were replaced by brutal dictators. Men like John Foster Dulles figure significantly in this era, a man who epitomized the fervent anti-communist and was responsible for many such actions. As a journalist, Kinzer as usual relays these stories in a compelling fashion, giving us a gripping, blow by blow acco unt of each affair. Of course, there are two sides to every story, and there are doubtlessly those who would defend these actions, or perhaps even take issue with Kinzers version of events. And while this reviewer certainly sympathizes with Kinzers critical view of such policies, it is possible that some of the operations have been more justifiable than others. The problem, says Kinzer, is that the US government has made a habit of thinking it can simply overthrow any foreign government that is not to its liking. Either way, this is an entertaining and intellectually nutritious read for anyone interested in American foreign policy, or 20th century history in general. 4.5 stars.

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