Overthrow by Stephen Kinzer
America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq

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Synopsis

A fast-paced narrative history of the coups, revolutions, and invasions by which the United States has toppled fourteen foreign governments--not always to its own benefit

"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 overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy in 1893 and continuing through the Spanish-American War and the Cold War and into our own time, 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 the latest, though perhaps not the last, example of the dangers inherent in these operations.

In Overthrow, Stephen Kinzer tells the stories of the audacious politicians, spies, military commanders, and business executives who took it upon themselves to depose monarchs, presidents, and prime ministers. He also shows that the U.S. government has often pursued these operations without understanding the countries involved; as a result, many of them have had disastrous long-term consequences.

In a compelling and provocative history that takes readers to fourteen countries, including Cuba, Iran, South Vietnam, Chile, and Iraq, Kinzer surveys modern American history from a new and often surprising perspective.

 

About Stephen Kinzer

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Stephen Kinzer is the author of Reset, Overthrow, All the Shah's Men, and numerous other books. An award-winning foreign correspondent, he served as the New York Times's bureau chief in Turkey, Germany, and Nicaragua and as the Boston Globe's Latin America correspondent. He teaches international relations at Brown University, and is a frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books and a columnist for The Guardian. He lives in Boston.
 
Published February 6, 2007 by Times Books. 420 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, War, Business & Economics. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Overthrow

Kirkus Reviews

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The project is a timely one, given the ongoing exercises in Iraq and Afghanistan, which seem tailor-made for the moral of the story—that, with the exception of Reagan’s Grenada invasion of 1983, those operations have, “in the end, weakened rather than strengthened American security,” having had t...

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The New York Times

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Stephen Kinzer recounts America's history of toppling foreign governments.

Apr 16 2006 | Read Full Review of Overthrow: America's Century ...

The New York Times

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By Stephen Kinzer's count, the United States has toppled foreign governments 14 times in the 110 years between the 1893 coup in Hawaii and the occupation of Iraq, making regime change by force as American as apple pie.

May 02 2006 | Read Full Review of Overthrow: America's Century ...

Publishers Weekly

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The recent ouster of Saddam Hussein may have turned "regime change" into a contemporary buzzword, but it's been a tactic of American foreign policy for more than 110 years.

Feb 20 2006 | Read Full Review of Overthrow: America's Century ...

BC Books

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It’s in the final part, which deals with Grenada, Panama, Afghanistan and Iraq, that Kinzer drops his balls.

Sep 06 2006 | Read Full Review of Overthrow: America's Century ...

BC Books

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Kinzer also speculates the Cold War United States confounded the nationalist sentiments of old colonies with international Communism in a way that aided American commercial interests – a speculation well-supported enough by his evidence to be gadfly to some sacred cows.

Sep 06 2006 | Read Full Review of Overthrow: America's Century ...

Examiner

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.

Dec 08 2009 | Read Full Review of Overthrow: America's Century ...

Bookmarks Magazine

Sweig Critical Summary Former New York Times correspondent Stephen Kinzer has produced a book on foreign policy that can sit comfortably beside "edgy fiction, juicy memoirs or newsy exposes" (San Francisco Chronicle).

Aug 29 2007 | Read Full Review of Overthrow: America's Century ...

Psychology Today

But in many ways the technocratic language of military training programs and the positive psychology strategies that characterize the CSF program appear inadequate for the task.

Mar 25 2011 | Read Full Review of Overthrow: America's Century ...

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