Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq

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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.

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

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About the author

Stephen Kinzer is the author of Reset, Overthrow, All the Shah's Men, Crescent and Star, 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 Boston University and is a frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books and a columnist for The Guardian. He lives in Boston.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Macmillan
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Published on
Feb 6, 2007
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Pages
400
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ISBN
9781429905374
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Military / United States
History / United States / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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A joint biography of John Foster Dulles and Allen Dulles, who led the United States into an unseen war that decisively shaped today's world

During the 1950s, when the Cold War was at its peak, two immensely powerful brothers led the United States into a series of foreign adventures whose effects are still shaking the world.

John Foster Dulles was secretary of state while his brother, Allen Dulles, was director of the Central Intelligence Agency. In this book, Stephen Kinzer places their extraordinary lives against the background of American culture and history. He uses the framework of biography to ask: Why does the United States behave as it does in the world?

The Brothers explores hidden forces that shape the national psyche, from religious piety to Western movies—many of which are about a noble gunman who cleans up a lawless town by killing bad guys. This is how the Dulles brothers saw themselves, and how many Americans still see their country's role in the world.

Propelled by a quintessentially American set of fears and delusions, the Dulles brothers launched violent campaigns against foreign leaders they saw as threats to the United States. These campaigns helped push countries from Guatemala to the Congo into long spirals of violence, led the United States into the Vietnam War, and laid the foundation for decades of hostility between the United States and countries from Cuba to Iran.
The story of the Dulles brothers is the story of America. It illuminates and helps explain the modern history of the United States and the world.
A Kirkus Reviews Best Nonfiction Book of 2013

Hawaii's Story by Hawaii's Queen is a book written by Queen Liliuokalani, the last monarch of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi. It was published in 1898, five years after the overthrow of the Kingdom. In it, Liliuokalani gives her account of her upbringing, her accession to the throne, the overthrow of her government by pro-American forces, her appeals to the United States to restore the Hawaiian monarchy, and her arrest and trial following an unsuccessful 1895 rebellion against the Republic of Hawaiʻi.

Her appeals immediately after the Hawaiian Revolution were acted upon by her friend, President Grover Cleveland, who demanded her reinstatement from the President of Hawaiʻi, Sanford B. Dole, following a confidential investigation and report by James Henderson Blount submitted July 17, 1893. Dole refused Cleveland's demands. Cleveland then referred the matter to the United States Congress. The Congress investigated further and produced the Morgan Report on February 26, 1894 which concluded that the U.S. had no role in the Hawaiian Revolution. Following the Morgan Report, the Turpie Resolution of May 31, 1894 ended any hope for further assistance in regaining her throne, and her further appeals for help were rebuffed by the Cleveland administration.

In 1898, the same year the book was originally published, Hawaiʻi was formally annexed by the United States of America.

This book is seen by many in the Hawaiian sovereignty movement as a key source documenting the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy. Many of her assertions regarding the overthrow are contradicted by other primary sources, including the Morgan Report and the Native Hawaiians Study Commission Report of 1983.

In either case, many people believe that the work is successful in conveying the frustration and sadness by the Queen and her supporters both for her loss of the throne, as well as the end of the independent nation of Hawaiʻi upon annexation to the United States.
The bestselling author of Overthrow and The Brothers brings to life the forgotten political debate that set America’s interventionist course in the world for the twentieth century and beyond.

How should the United States act in the world? Americans cannot decide. Sometimes we burn with righteous anger, launching foreign wars and deposing governments. Then we retreat—until the cycle begins again.

No matter how often we debate this question, none of what we say is original. Every argument is a pale shadow of the first and greatest debate, which erupted more than a century ago. Its themes resurface every time Americans argue whether to intervene in a foreign country.

Revealing a piece of forgotten history, Stephen Kinzer transports us to the dawn of the twentieth century, when the United States first found itself with the chance to dominate faraway lands. That prospect thrilled some Americans. It horrified others. Their debate gripped the nation.

The country’s best-known political and intellectual leaders took sides. Theodore Roosevelt, Henry Cabot Lodge, and William Randolph Hearst pushed for imperial expansion; Mark Twain, Booker T. Washington, and Andrew Carnegie preached restraint. Only once before—in the period when the United States was founded—have so many brilliant Americans so eloquently debated a question so fraught with meaning for all humanity.

All Americans, regardless of political perspective, can take inspiration from the titans who faced off in this epic confrontation. Their words are amazingly current. Every argument over America’s role in the world grows from this one. It all starts here.

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