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Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
Among Kinzer's conclusions is that it is impossible for the U.S. to EVER be successful in the long term when we get caught in the temptations of implementing regime changes. This is partially due to the fact that one can't install leaders in foreign countries who are both genuinely popular with their compatriots AND who are looking out for American interests. The two are nearly always mutually exclusive.
But it's one thing to sum up one of Kinzer's primary theses, and quite another to read OVERTHROW's specific and fascinating examples. I consider myself well read and informed, yet in each chapter, I found historical material that surprised me. Stephen Kinzer's work as a foreign correspondent for the New York Times served him well for this volume: He is a master at "explaining" the interesting stories and crucial background needed to understand his case studies in this book. Brilliant work.
Now, this does not mean that those of my generation were ignorant of the things of which Kinzer writes. I grew up and lived in the era when many of the "regime changes" discussed by the author were taking place. Neither I nor my contemporaries, however, used the term "regime change" or looked at those incidents through the conceptual lens that many of us do today. As close as I remember getting to this sort of political reality was when I spent ten days in Hawaii way back in the 1960s and was introduced to a few native Hawaiians who did not have very good things to say about the American missionaries and businessmen who stepped afoot on their island and simply took control, changing (or "destroying"?) a culture that had been around for hundreds of years and successfully so. A "regime change"? Well, I don't think any of us looked at it quite that way back then.Read more ›
This is a timely review, although the facts are well known to those who follow international affairs.
In this second (as if new) reading, the following quote stayed with me from page 317: "Most American sponsored 'regime change' operations have, in the end, weakened rather than strengthened, American security."
I list the countries covered by this book: Hawaii, Cuba, Nicarague, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Honduras, Guatemala, Iran, Viet-Nam, Chile, Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, Afghanistan, Iraq.
I focus more on Hawaii, in 1893, the first of a new range of intrusive overthrows (beyond the land expansion actions the author chooses not to cover). I am struck--moved--by the duplicitious immoral actions of both the white landowners and the white US government representatives against the people of Hawaii.
The author discusses how Hawaiians were at the time bound by obligations, ritual, and a reverence for nature. I am reminded of how we and the Spanish genocided the native Americans, north and south, individuals who had decades if not centuries of refined knowledge on how to shape and nurture the Earth in harmony with their needs.
This time around, the author's emphasis on how the legal right to buy land led to the loss of local indigenous control and rights. I now firmly believe that foreign and absentee landlords should be eliminated.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The book moves quickly through all of the countries overthrown by the U.S There are a lot of interesting stories and facts. Read morePublished 10 days ago by John Frech
This very timely book provides an insightful analysis of the regime changes of which the United States has orchestrated (or conspired in) since the overthrow of the Hawaiian... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Frank
Kinzer's telling of the US government's many incidents of regime change is excellent. And it reflects his years as an award-winning journalist at the New York Times. Read morePublished 3 months ago by DTS@BigIslandRanch
You will never find this as required reading in American history curriculum.Published 4 months ago by Richard M Winchell