8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on February 27, 2009
This is a brilliantly researched account of the US government's Operation PBSUCCESS, a campaign to overthrow Guatemala's democratically elected president Jacobo Arbenz in 1954 using the CIA, followed by the installation of a dictatorship that ended up killing thousands of Guatemalans. The author uses declassified CIA documents to show not only the rationale behind Operation PBSUCCESS (it wasn't only to counter what was perceived as a Soviet-style government, but also to protect the financial interests of a prominent US company operating in Guatemala), but also the exact methods the CIA used to spread propaganda throughout Guatemala with the intention of undermining Arbenz's government, which was wrongly perceived as being a communist regime. This book highlights the results of misinterpreting intelligence information and the results of ignoring information that may be inconvenient. The tragedy is that so many Guatemalans suffered as a result.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 23, 2010
This book is fantastic. A great CIA sponsored text, describing the CIA's mission to destabilize and overthrow the Guatemalan government in the 50s. Built ALMOST COMPLETELY out of internal CIA documents, the purpose of the book was to provide the CIA with a template for future intervention missions. When you read this, you really start to get a feel for what the CIA would do in the future.
A must read for anyone with a serious interest in US Foreign Policy.