Empire's Workshop by Greg Grandin
Latin America, the United States, and the Rise of the New Imperialism

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Synopsis

An eye-opening examination of Latin America's role as proving ground for U.S. imperial strategies and tactics

In recent years, one book after another has sought to take the measure of the Bush administration's aggressive foreign policy. In their search for precedents, they invoke the Roman and British empires as well as postwar reconstructions of Germany and Japan. Yet they consistently ignore the one place where the United States had its most formative imperial experience: Latin America.

A brilliant excavation of a long-obscured history, Empire's Workshop is the first book to show how Latin America has functioned as a laboratory for American extraterritorial rule. Historian Greg Grandin follows the United States' imperial operations, from Thomas Jefferson's aspirations for an "empire of liberty" in Cuba and Spanish Florida, to Ronald Reagan's support for brutally oppressive but U.S.-friendly regimes in Central America. He traces the origins of Bush's policies to Latin America, where many of the administration's leading lights--John Negroponte, Elliott Abrams, Otto Reich--first embraced the deployment of military power to advance free-market economics and first enlisted the evangelical movement in support of their ventures.

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


 

About Greg Grandin

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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.
 
Published May 2, 2006 by Metropolitan Books. 316 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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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.

May 08 2006 | Read Full Review of Empire's Workshop: Latin Amer...

Kirkus Reviews

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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 da...

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Publishers Weekly

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NYU historian Grandin (The Blood of Guatemala ) 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 a...

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