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Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq Paperback – February 6, 2007
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Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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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
A good look into how, from the 1890's until now we the United States have overthrown other Democracy's for the interest of corporations. Read morePublished 19 days ago by Chase
EXCELLENT READ. Even if only half of this is true, the author shows how we've been screwed for decades!!!Published 24 days ago by Amazon Customer
An excellent breakdown of U.S. interventions and many of the leaders responsible for them. It is essentially a series of case studies with background, key events, and the... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
I've only read parts of the book and I'm already rate it five stars for two reasons.
People have a tendency to have blinders regarding things their country does, things... Read more
Well written, well researched. I'm learning a lot from Mr. Kinzer and his subject matter. Thought knew a lot. Found out there was a lot I didn't know. Read morePublished 2 months ago by BillyBob
Excellent overview of some shockingly consistent and really awful US foreign policy throughout the 20th Century. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Robert O'Brien
Terrific history of US intervention in foreign countries, mostly in pursuit of commercial interests of some kind. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Techgrammy