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Empire's Workshop: Latin America, the United States, and the Rise of the New Imperialism

by

Empire's Workshop: Latin America, the United States, and the Rise of the New Imperialism Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

“Grandin has always been a brilliant historian; now he uses his detective skills in a book that is absolutely crucial to understanding our present.”

—Naomi Klein, author of No Logo

 
The British and Roman empires are often invoked as precedents to the Bush administrations aggressive foreign policy. But Americas imperial identity was actually shaped much closer to home. In a brilliant excavation of long-obscured history, Empires Workshop shows how Latin America has functioned as a proving ground for American strategies and tactics overseas. Historian Greg Grandin follows the United States imperial operations from Jeffersons aspirations for an “empire of liberty” in Cuba and Spanish Florida to Reagans support for brutally oppressive but U.S.-friendly regimes in Central America. He traces the origins of Bushs current policies back to Latin America, where many of the administrations leading lights first embraced the deployment of military power to advance free market economics and enlisted the evangelical movement in support of their ventures.

With much of Latin America now in open rebellion against U.S. domination, Grandin asks: If Washington failed to bring prosperity and democracy to Latin America—its own backyard “workshop”—what are the chances it will do so for the world?

Greg Grandin, a professor of Latin American history at New York University, is the author of two previous books, The Last Colonial Massacre and the award-winning The Blood of Guatemala. The recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship, Grandin has served on the United Nations Truth Commission investigating the Guatemalan civil war and has contributed to Harper's, The Nation, and The New York Times. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
An excavation of a long-obscured history, Empire's Workshop is the first book to show how Latin America has functioned as an indispensable laboratory for America's rise to world power. Historian Greg Grandin follows the United States's imperial operations, from Thomas Jefferson's aspirations for an "empire of liberty" that would govern Cuba and Spanish Florida to Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Good Neighbor Policy, which taught the U.S. how to use "soft power" more effectively and provided a blueprint for its postwar European and Asian "empire by invitation."
 
Empire's Workshop is also the first book to examine how a preemptive foreign policy in Latin America, which included sponsoring coups, death-squad states, and paramilitary insurgencies, has transformed America's domestic politics, forging today's ruling coalition of neoconservatives, Christian evangelicals, free marketeers, and nationalists. The road to war in Iraq, Grandin argues, can be traced back to the 1970s and 1980s, when an increasingly internationalist New Right turned to Latin America to avenge Vietnam, and in so doing rehabilitated militarism as a legitimate instrument of the state and made free-market capitalism the moral core of American purpose abroad.
 
Today, much of Latin America is in open rebellion against American domination. Grandin concludes with a sobering analysis of these explosive tensions and poses a vital question: If Washington has been unable to bring prosperity, stability, and democracy to Latin America—its own backyard "workshop"—what are the chances it will do so for the world?
"The Americans who engineered countless military coups, death squads and massacres in Latin America never paid for their crimes—instead they got promoted and they're now running the 'War on Terror.' Grandin had always been a brilliant historian, now he uses those detective skills in a book that is absolutely crucial to understanding our present."—Naomi Klein, author of No Logo
"A provocative and lucid writer, Grandin examines how the United States has used Latin America as a proving ground for imperial war strategies employed later elsewhere, most recently in Iraq . . . An important book that deserves a wide audience."—Roger Atwood, The Washington Post

 

"Grandin convincingly argues that Latin America served as a crucible in which the ingredients of current U.S. foreign policy were first blended . . . With its vivid depiction of neocon militarists, religious evangelicals, and neoliberal economists coming together, Empire's Workshop offers a cogent analysis of how past interventions in Latin America provide the Bush administration with a troubling model for present policy."—Mark Engler, Mother Jones

 

"[A] well-written history of American interventions in Latin America . . . [and] another in the continuing series The American Empire Project, Empires Workshop adds another strong perspective to the historical development of the American Empire."—Jim Miles, Palestine Chronicle

 

"[This book] is a must read for anyone trying to understand the Bush Administration's increasing hostility toward Venezuela . . . It helps us understand the vast arsenal of tools that the U.S. government and transnational capital have at their disposal, but it also focuses our anger and the importance of popular resistance to Empire . . . [It] is a good primer for our continuing education."—Chuck Kaufman, Nicaragua Monitor

 
"The Americans who engineered countless military coups, death squads and massacres in Latin America never paid for their crimes—instead they got promoted and they're now running the 'War on Terror.' Grandin had always been a brilliant historian, now he uses those detective skills in a book that is absolutely crucial to understanding our present."—Naomi Klein, author of No Logo

"Greg Grandin knows the history of modern Guatemala better than anybody else in the world outside of that country—and therefore understands the nature of U.S. attitudes and action toward Latin America at their most disturbing. This grants him keen insight into the manic ferocity behind U.S. imperialism across the globe today, which he describes in fine, rich, vivid, bitter detail. Grandin also shrewdly observes that the outrages possible in little U.S. neo-colonies are not so easy to accomplish on a grand scale. His admirable book deserves many, many serious readers."—John Womack, Robert Woods Bliss Professor of Latin American History and Economics, Harvard University and author of Zapata

 
"Most Americans pay little attention to our southern neighbors; however, according to NYU Latin American history professor Grandin, the U.S. government has indeed been paying attention to the region. Grandin contends that Latin America has been a testing ground—a laboratory, if you will—for the U.S. government to exercise its imperialistic tendencies. Grandin argues that U.S.-Latin American relations, from the administration of Thomas Jefferson up to the present Bush presidency, should be seen as sure indication the U.S. has always harbored imperial intentions. Our interventions in Latin America, both military and economic, have gone on repeatedly over the decades and reveal that the current administration's foreign policy, built on the concept of using military action to spread and establish our 'ideals,' is nothing new; it's been practiced in Latin America again and again . . . Well presented."—Booklist
 
"If you want to know why the American intervention in Iraq has failed, look at the El Salvador of a quarter-century ago. Latin America, writes Grandin, has been a proving ground for America's imperial ambitions since the Jefferson administration. Over the last 200 years, he argues, 'two broad arcs of hostility have defined U.S.-Latin American relations.' The first is a pattern of direct military intervention, usually to protect American economic interests; the second, often carried out by proxy, pretends to nobler goals such as containing communism or drug smuggling or, now, terrorism. Grandin holds that a third period is dawning, one in which America projects military and economic power to 'guard against the resurgence of a new, continent-wide democratic left,' which has indeed emerged in Brazil, Bolivia and Venezuela and may soon sweep Mexico, bringing dreaded red flags to America's borders. Grandin suggests that this is justifiable, for the end product of America's imperialism in Latin America has been an impoverishment of the region, thanks to the neoliberal 'economic regime heralded by Milton Friedman and his colleagues and imposed by Reagan and his successors'; at the end of the 1960s, 11 percent of Latin Americans lived on less than $2.00 a day, whereas by 1996 the number had grown to 33 percent, or 165 million people. This pattern holds in El Salvador, ravaged by U.S.-backed death squads in the '70s and '80s and monitored by then-junior U.S. officials who now hold command, among them Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney. The latter, Grandin observes, once argued that El Salvador, 'with 50 percent of its population below the poverty level, was a model for what his administration hoped to achieve in Iraq.' Nixon observed that the U.S. could do what it wanted in Latin America because his compatriots didn't give a damn about the place. Grandin's excellent book makes a good case for caring."—Kirkus Reviews
 
"America's post-9/11 policy of idealistic military adventurism has a long history, argues this incisive study. NYU historian Grandin sketches the vexed course of U.S. relations with Latin America, but focuses on the Reagan administration's involvement in Central America during the 1980s, when it backed the Salvadoran government in a brutal civil war against left-wing insurgents and the Nicaraguan Contras against the Sandinista regime. Then as now, Grandin contends, Washington justified a militarist stance by citing a threat to America (Communists advancing on the Rio Grande) and championing democracy and human rights. America did not send troops but did sponsor native death squads in El Salvador, and the author notes recent press reports that the U.S. military is sponsoring similar death squads in Iraq . . . This timely book offers an analysis of the ideological foundations of today's foreign policy consensus and a cautionary tale about its dark legacy."—Publishers Weekly

Synopsis:

Grandin has always been a brilliant historian; now he uses his detective skills in a book that is absolutely crucial to understanding our present.

--Naomi Klein, author of No Logo The British and Roman empires are often invoked as precedents to the Bush administration's aggressive foreign policy. But America's imperial identity was actually shaped much closer to home. In a brilliant excavation of long-obscured history, Empire's Workshop shows how Latin America has functioned as a proving ground for American strategies and tactics overseas. Historian Greg Grandin follows the United States' imperial operations from Jefferson's aspirations for an empire of liberty in Cuba and Spanish Florida to Reagan's support for brutally oppressive but U.S.-friendly regimes in Central America. He traces the origins of Bush's current policies back to Latin America, where many of the administration's leading lights first embraced the deployment of military power to advance free market economics and enlisted the evangelical movement in support of their ventures.

With much of Latin America now in open rebellion against U.S. domination, Grandin asks: If Washington failed to bring prosperity and democracy to Latin America--its own backyard workshop--what are the chances it will do so for the world?

Synopsis:

< div> < div> < div> < b> & #8220; Grandin has always been a brilliant historian; now he uses his detective skills in a book that is absolutely crucial to understanding our present.& #8221; < br> & #8212; Naomi Klein, author of < i> No Logo< /i> < /b> < /div> < div> < i> < /i> & nbsp; < /div> < div> < div> < div> The British and Roman empires are often invoked as precedents to the Bush administration& #8217; s aggressive foreign policy. But America& #8217; s imperial identity was actually shaped much closer to home. In a brilliant excavation of long-obscured history, < i> Empire& #8217; s Workshop< /i> shows how Latin America has functioned as a proving ground for American strategies and tactics overseas. Historian Greg Grandin follows the United States& #8217; imperial operations from Jefferson& #8217; s aspirations for an & #8220; empire of liberty& #8221; in Cuba and Spanish Florida to Reagan& #8217; s support for brutally oppressive but U.S.-friendly regimes in Central America. He traces the origins of Bush& #8217; s current policies back to Latin America, where many of the administration& #8217; s leading lights first embraced the deployment of military power to advance free market economics and enlisted the evangelical movement in support of their ventures.< /div> < div> < br> With much of Latin America now in open rebellion against U.S. domination, Grandin asks: If Washington failed to bring prosperity and democracy to Latin America& #8212; its own backyard & #8220; workshop& #8221; & #8212; what are the chances it will do so for theworld?< /div> < /div> < /div> < /div> < /div>

About the Author

Greg Grandin is the author of Fordlandia, Empire's Workshop, The Last Colonial Massacre, and the award-winning The Blood of Guatemala. An associate professor of Latin American history at New York University, and a Guggenheim fellow, Grandin has served on the United Nations Truth Commission investigating the Guatemalan Civil War and has written for the Los Angeles Times, The Nation, The New Statesman, and The New York Times.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780805083231
Author:
Grandin, Greg
Publisher:
Owl Books (NY)
Subject:
United States - 20th Century
Subject:
Political History
Subject:
International Relations - General
Subject:
Latin America - General
Subject:
Imperialism
Subject:
Philosophy
Subject:
United States--Foreign relations--2001-
Subject:
World History-Latin America
Subject:
Colonialism & Post-Colonialism
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Series:
American Empire Project
Publication Date:
20070531
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
7.89 x 5.95 x 0.825 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Latin America » General
History and Social Science » Politics » International Studies
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Foreign Policy
History and Social Science » US History » 20th Century » General
History and Social Science » World History » Latin America

Empire's Workshop: Latin America, the United States, and the Rise of the New Imperialism New Trade Paper
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Product details 320 pages Owl Books (NY) - English 9780805083231 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Grandin has always been a brilliant historian; now he uses his detective skills in a book that is absolutely crucial to understanding our present.

--Naomi Klein, author of No Logo The British and Roman empires are often invoked as precedents to the Bush administration's aggressive foreign policy. But America's imperial identity was actually shaped much closer to home. In a brilliant excavation of long-obscured history, Empire's Workshop shows how Latin America has functioned as a proving ground for American strategies and tactics overseas. Historian Greg Grandin follows the United States' imperial operations from Jefferson's aspirations for an empire of liberty in Cuba and Spanish Florida to Reagan's support for brutally oppressive but U.S.-friendly regimes in Central America. He traces the origins of Bush's current policies back to Latin America, where many of the administration's leading lights first embraced the deployment of military power to advance free market economics and enlisted the evangelical movement in support of their ventures.

With much of Latin America now in open rebellion against U.S. domination, Grandin asks: If Washington failed to bring prosperity and democracy to Latin America--its own backyard workshop--what are the chances it will do so for the world?

"Synopsis" by , < div> < div> < div> < b> & #8220; Grandin has always been a brilliant historian; now he uses his detective skills in a book that is absolutely crucial to understanding our present.& #8221; < br> & #8212; Naomi Klein, author of < i> No Logo< /i> < /b> < /div> < div> < i> < /i> & nbsp; < /div> < div> < div> < div> The British and Roman empires are often invoked as precedents to the Bush administration& #8217; s aggressive foreign policy. But America& #8217; s imperial identity was actually shaped much closer to home. In a brilliant excavation of long-obscured history, < i> Empire& #8217; s Workshop< /i> shows how Latin America has functioned as a proving ground for American strategies and tactics overseas. Historian Greg Grandin follows the United States& #8217; imperial operations from Jefferson& #8217; s aspirations for an & #8220; empire of liberty& #8221; in Cuba and Spanish Florida to Reagan& #8217; s support for brutally oppressive but U.S.-friendly regimes in Central America. He traces the origins of Bush& #8217; s current policies back to Latin America, where many of the administration& #8217; s leading lights first embraced the deployment of military power to advance free market economics and enlisted the evangelical movement in support of their ventures.< /div> < div> < br> With much of Latin America now in open rebellion against U.S. domination, Grandin asks: If Washington failed to bring prosperity and democracy to Latin America& #8212; its own backyard & #8220; workshop& #8221; & #8212; what are the chances it will do so for theworld?< /div> < /div> < /div> < /div> < /div>
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