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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The Founders wrote in 1776 that "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" are unalienable American rights. In The Pursuit of Happiness in Times of War, Carl M. Cannon shows how this single phrase is one of almost unbelievable historical power. It was this rich rhetorical vein that New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and President George W. Bush tapped into after 9/11 when they urged Americans to go to ballgames, to shop, to do things that made them happy even in the face of unrivaled horror. From the Revolutionary War to the current War on Terrorism, Americans have lived out this creed. They have been helped in this effort by their elected leaders, who in times of war inevitably hark back to Jefferson's soaring language. If the former Gotham mayor and the current president had perfect pitch in the days after September 11, so too have American presidents and other leaders throughout our nation's history.

In this book, Mr. Cannon—a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist—traces the roots of Jefferson's powerful phrase and explores how it has been embraced by wartime presidents for two centuries. Mr. Cannon draws on original research at presidential libraries and interviews with Gerald R. Ford, Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, and Bill Clinton, among others. He discussed with the presidents exactly what the phrase means to them. Mr. Cannon charts how Americans' understanding of the pursuit of happiness has changed through the years as the nation itself has changed.

In the end, America's political leaders have all come to the same conclusion as its spiritual leaders: True happiness—either for a nation or an individual—does not come from conquest or fortune or even from the attainment of freedom itself. It comes in the pursuit of happiness for the benefit of others. This may be one truth that contemporary liberals and conservatives can agree on. John McCain and Jimmy Carter both envision happiness as a sacrifice to a higher calling, embodied in everything from McCain's time as a prisoner of war to the N
Today, women in all U.S. military services are involved in the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. They serve as pilots and crewmen of assault helicopters, bombers, fighters, and transport planes, and are frequently engaged in firefights with enemy insurgents while guarding convoys, traveling in hostile territory, or performing military police duties. Like their male counterparts, they carry out their missions with determination and great courage. The advent of the insurgency war, which has no rear or front lines, has made the debate regarding women in combat irrelevant. In such a war zone, anyone can be killed or injured at any moment. The stories of these courageous women are told by James E. Wise and Scott Baron, who use a format similar to the one employed with such success in the book "Stars in Blue". The profiles of some forty women and their photographs are included. To record their stories, the authors conducted numerous personal interviews, and in every case Wise and Baron were struck by the women's extraordinary display of dedication to their mission and to the soldiers and sailors with whom they served. Because the service of women in the military has been under reported to date, most of the women included in this book will be unknown to readers and reveal another dimension to the service of women in the desert and the vital role they play in the armed forces. While the book's focus is on today's women in combat, it also reaches back to Vietnam, Korea, and World War II to offer selected stories of inspiring women who served at the "cusp of the spear" as they fought and died for their country.
The authoritative account of America's most controversial war since Vietnam, a conflict in which "shock and awe" were not confined to the battlefield

It was a war like no other the United States had ever fought. It began with the bombing of Saddam Hussein's bunker and ended with statues of the Iraqi dictator being toppled in downtown Baghdad, and it marked a turning point in America's relations with its enemies, its allies, and its sense of itself. Yet most Americans experienced the war as impressionistic and often confusing—the story of one battle here, one unit there, a report from one city, then another, without the larger context we so urgently needed. Each reporter had his "slice" of the war, it seemed, but no one had the whole story or the broad view.

A Time of Our Choosing fills that gap brilliantly, drawing on the unparalleled resources and reportage of The New York Times. Todd S. Purdum, one of the paper's most gifted storytellers, traces the war in Iraq from the first rumblings after 9/11, to the diplomatic recriminations at the United Nations, to the battles themselves and their aftermath. He deftly rolls out the whole canvas before our eyes, showing how the individual "slices" fit together into a single, gripping drama.

Purdum also explores the complex legacy of America's near-unilateral action. Since the 9/11 attacks, President George W. Bush has vowed that the United States would confront its enemies "at a time of our choosing," and Purdum shows in vivid terms what this choice has meant for our now transformed world.

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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