OVERRIDE

Overthrow

America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq

Stephen Kinzer

Times Books

"Detailed, passionate and convincing . . . [with] the pace and grip of a good thriller."--Anatol Lieven, The New York Times Book Review

"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 toppling of the Hawaiian monarchy in 1893, 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 but the latest 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 foreign regimes. He details the three eras of America's regime-change century--the imperial era, which brought Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Nicaragua, and Honduras under America's sway; the cold war era, which employed covert action against Iran, Guatemala, South Vietnam, and Chile; and the invasion era, which saw American troops toppling governments in Grenada, Panama, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

Kinzer explains why the U.S. government has pursued these operations and why so many of them have had disastrous long-term consequences, making Overthrow a cautionary tale that serves as an urgent warning as the United States seeks to define its role in the modern world.

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Introduction
 
Why does a strong nation strike against a weaker one? Usually because it seeks to impose its ideology, increase its power, or gain control of valuable resources. Shifting combinations of these three factors motivated the United States as it extended its global reach over the past century and more. This book examines the most direct form of American intervention, the overthrow of foreign governments.
 
The invasion of Iraq in 2003 was not an isolated episode. It was the culmination of a 110-year period during which Americans overthrew fourteen governments that
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REVIEWS

Praise for Overthrow

"Citizens concerned about foreign affairs must read this book. Stephen Kinzer's crisp and thoughtful Overthrow undermines the myth of national innocence. Quite the contrary: history shows the United States as an interventionist busybody directed at regime change. We deposed fourteen foreign governments in hardly more than a century, some for good reasons, more for bad reasons, with most dubious long-term consequences."
--Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.

"Stephen Kinzer has a grim message for those critics of the Iraqi war who believe George W. Bush to be America's most misguided, uninformed, and reckless president. Bush has had plenty of company in the past century--presidents who believe that America, as Kinzer tells us, has the right to wage war wherever it deems war necessary."
--Seymour M. Hersh

"Stephen Kinzer's book is a jewel. After reading Overthrow, no American -- not even President Bush -- should any longer wonder 'why they hate us.' Overthrow is a narrative of all the times we've overthrown a foreign government in order to put in power puppets that are obedient to us. It is a tale of imperialism American-style, usually in the service of corporate interests, and as Kinzer points out, 'No nation in modern history has done this so often, in so many places so far from its own shores.' "
--Chalmers Johnson

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Stephen Kinzer

  • Stephen Kinzer is an award-winning foreign correspondent who has reported from more than fifty countries on four continents. He served as  the New York Times bureau chief in Turkey, Germany, and Nicaragua, and as the Boston Globe Latin America correspondent. His previous books include All the Shah's Men, Crescent and Star, and Blood of Brothers. He is also the co-author of Bitter Fruit: The Untold Story of the American Coup in Guatemala. He lives in Chicago.
  • Stephen Kinzer
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    Overthrow

    America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq

    Stephen Kinzer

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    Times Books

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