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Rag-Tags, Scum, Riff-Raff and Commies: The U.S. Intervention in the Dominican Republic, 1965-1966by Eric Thomas Chester
Synopses & Reviews
In April 1965, a popular rebellion in the Dominican Republic toppled an authoritarian regime with close ties to the United States. In this groundbreaking study, Eric Chester carefully reconstructs the events that followed into a thriller of historical sweep. The result is a compelling portrait of how President Lyndon Johnson used the CIA, the Pentagon and the State Department to suppress the rebellion, and, ultimately, to orchestrate an outcome to the crisis favorable to U.S. interests.
Chester makes extensive use of recently declassified documents, as well as holdings in private archives, including uncensored telephone transcripts involving the president and his closest and most influential advisors. His nuanced study of the workings of covert and diplomatic initiatives provides a thorough analysis of this key incident in the Cold War, and its implicatons for U.S. foreign policy in Latin America.
Book News Annotation:
Chester (former college economics instructor and current activist and author) makes extensive use of recently declassified documents to show how President Lyndon Johnson used the CIA, the Pentagon, and the State Department to suppress the 1965 popular rebellion in the Dominican Republic in order to insure an outcome favorable to US interests.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Explains how the United States responded to a 1965 Dominican Republic rebellion by means of direct armed intervention, and sent in troops as reflective of a Cold War era attitude that overrode Roosevelt's "good neighbor policy.".
In April 1965, a popular rebellion in the Dominican Republic toppled the remnants of the U.S. backed Trujillo dictatorship setting the stage for the master tinkers of America's Cold War machine. In this groundbreaking study, Eric Thomas Chester carefully reconstructs the events that followed into a thriller of historical sweep, and creates a stunning portrait of how the U.S. government--from President Lyndon Johnson on down--used the Dominican Republic as a tool of its imperial arrogance.
Eric Thomas Chester explains how the U.S. intervention was in the tradition of gunboat diplomacy as well as a consequence of Cold War ideology, and the Cuban Revolution. After the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Haiti in 1934 and the initiation of Roosevelt's so-called "good neighbor policy," the United States had refrained from sending its own troops to intervene in Latin America. The 1965 invasion broke this pattern and reinitiated an era of direct armed intervention in Latin America. The result was that by early May, with more than thirty thousand troops deployed, there was a greater U.S. military presence in the Dominican Republic than in South Vietnam.
In this fascinating account, Chester makes extensive use of recently declassified diplomatic and intelligence documents to offer a nuanced and textured study of the workings of covert as well as diplomatic initiatives and provides a thorough analysis of U.S. Cold War foreign policy in the region.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -347) and index.
About the Author
Eric Thomas Chester was assistant professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts in Boston and, later, lecturer at San Francisco State University. In the 1960s, Chester was active in the civil rights movement and Students for a Democratic Society. He has worked as a cab driver, union organizer, and substitute teacher. He remains an activist in the trade union solidarity movement and the Socialist Party, and was the Socialist Party's vice-presidential candidate in 1996. He is the author of Socialists and the Ballot Box. His essays have appeared in the Cambridge Journal of Economics, Critique, Z, Insurgent Sociologist, Resist, Public Finance, Changes, and Against the Current.
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History and Social Science » Latin America » Dominican Republic