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UFPPC (www.ufppc.org) Digging Deeper XXXVIII: November 5, 2007, 7:00 p.m.

Greg Grandin, Latin America, the United States, and the Rise of the New
Imperialism (New York: Owl, 2007). Originally published in hardcover in
2006 by Henry Holt.
Introduction: The Camel Not in the Koran. idealism” that first saw its modern form in El
Latin America has historically been a “school” where Salvador and Nicaragua (87-89). Conduct of
the U.S. worked out foreign policy approaches: counterinsurgency was associated with systematic
successively, imperialism (1800-1930s), then soft atrocity in El Salvador (89-94). Death squads (94-
power (FDR), then hard power again (1950s-1980s) 99). El Salvador (100-08). Genocide in Guatemala
(1-7). (108-10). The call of idealists to roll back
Communism was the other strand of U.S. policy
Ch. 1: How Latin America Saved the United (110-12). Reversing Nicaragua’s 1979 revolution
States from Itself. Introductory chapter on Latin appealed to them (112-17).
America’s formative role in U.S. empire. Ford Motor
Co.’s “Fordlandia” in Brazil as parable of empire: Ch. 4: Bringing It All Back Home: The Politics
from utopian evangelicanism to brute coercion (11- of the New Imperialism. On the domestic front,
15). Northern capitalists and evangelists worked Central American policy helped resolve the
hand in hand with mercenaries and militarists (15- Watergate-Vietnam crisis of authority. The
23). But with a population with no stomach for mobilization of opinion in favor of the Contras
direct empire, U.S. elites developed a consensus foreshadowed the War on Terror (121-23). Three
that used trade and finance (Open Door diplomacy, fronts: a PR-inspired public diplomacy campaign
“dollar diplomacy”) as the basis for an “informal (123-36), increased surveillance of dissidents (136-
empire” (23-27). The Mexican Revolution and the 40), and the mobilization of militarists and free-
Nicaraguan insurgency catalyzed a backlash (27- marketeers against antimilitarists and liberation
33). FDR’s non-interventionist Good Neighbor policy theologians (140-56). The imperial Bush II
employed “pragmatic pluralism” in the 1930s & presidency is the culmination of efforts begun in the
1940s, while Latin Americans developed institutions 1980s (157-58).
embodying a “liberal multilateral order” (33-39).
This provided a model for the projection of U.S. soft Ch. 5: The Third Conquest of Latin America:
power after World War II (39-40; citing Peter Gowan, The Economics of the New Imperialism. How
The Global Gamble [Verso, 1999]). But as the Cold the financial contraction of the 1970s provided an
War developed, the U.S. became intolerant of Latin opportunity for free-market fundamentalists to act
American reformers, overthrowing a government in first in Chile, then in the rest of Latin America. Bush
Guatemala but failing in Cuba (41-45). Kennedy’s has promoted “raw capitalism,” not “reform
Alliance for Progress was a counterrevolutionarry capitalism” (159-63). Chile as laboratory for
campaign couched in revolutionary language (46- Chicago School economics (163-75). Reagan used
48). In the 1970s, the U.S. returned to “hardheaded chauvinist evangelical roots to promote corporate
militarism” in dealing with Latin America (49-51). interests (175-81). His program achieved “a
cohesive transformation of American society and
Ch. 2: The Most Important Place in the World: diplomacy” (182; 181-84). The Cancún summit in
Toward a New Imperialism. The reorientation of late 1981 was the unveiling of the “trade, not aid”
U.S. foreign policy in the aftermath of Vietnam approach (185-90). Panama and Operation Just
focused on Central America (52-54). Nixon and the Cause (191-92). Clinton largely continued Reagan-
Nixon Doctrine (54-60). Vietnam led to the Bush policies (193-94). George W. Bush merely
development of a “permanent antimilitarist accentuated them (194-95).
opposition” (62). “The Ninety-third Congress (1973-
75) was perhaps the most anti-imperial legislature Ch. 6: Globalization’s Showpiece: The Failure
in American history” (62; 61-64). But the civilian of the New Imperialism. New political
militarists of the energized New Right devoted movements are provoking the U.S. to militarize
themselves to restoring U.S. power (64-69). The hemispheric relations. Bush’s triumphalism failed to
harsh 1980 manifesto of the Committee of Santa Fe take into account Latin America (196-98). The
encouraged the administration to use Central lamentable economic results of shock therapy (198-
America an antidote to Vietnam (69-73). Jeanne 208). Anti-globalization has remobilized the Latin
Kirkpatrick’s realism (73-78) combined with American left (208-11). Bush has undertaken to
idealistic rhetoric (78-85). Their combination was militarize hemispheric relations (211-15). Colombia
the harbinger of what would become the Bush is “at the heart of the crisis” (216-20). U.S. and
Doctrine (85-86). Latin America “stand at the threshold of a third
[historic] period of conflict” (220; 220-22).
Ch. 3: Going Primitive: The Violence of the
New Imperialism. The combination of praise for Conclusion: Iraq Is Not Arabic for Latin
freedom and the use of terror tactics, characteristic America. Central America in the 1980s was a
of “the new imperialism,” expresses a “punitive
template for Iraq, often employing the same Archive is largely responsible for what we know
personnel (223-37). about the workings of empire in Latin America”
(278).
Afterword. [Dated December 2006] After the soft
power of FDR’s Good Neighbor Policy, a New Right Index. 14 pp.
alliance under Reagan rehabilitated American hard
power in Central America in the 1980s (239-40). [On the Author. Ph.D. Yale, 1999. Taught 1999-
The neocon-theocon alliance seen there, marked by 2001 at Duke, since then at NYU. Author of The
a mistrust of multilateralism, conviction that evil is Last Colonial Massacre (U.Chi., 2004) (exposes
at work in the world, ethical conviction that the U.S. Washington's involvement in the 1966 secret
military must be used to confront it, and celebration execution of more than thirty Guatemalan leftists,
of the free market, led to the Iraq war (240). But which prefigured the later wave of disappearances
the resurgent Latin American left represents an in Chile and Argentina) and The Blood of Guatemala
“independence movement” from U.S. domination (Duke UP, 2000) (shows how the efforts of Mayan
(240-42). This left should offer “instruction” to U.S. élites to maintain authority over the indigenous
antimilitarists (243-44). population in the community of Quetzaltenango and
secure political power in relation to non-Indians led
Notes. 32 pp. them to oppose indigenous peasants’ land claims;
the resulting struggle played a crucial role in the
Acknowledgments. 2 pp. The argument of book formation of the Guatemalan nation). Lives in
was conceived for an Iraq war teach-in. Mention of Brooklyn, New York. ]
Kate Doyle, “whose work with the National Security