Talons of the Eagle

Talons of the Eagle

Dynamics of U.S.-Latin American Relations

Book - 1996
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In recent years, U.S.-Latin American relations have become increasingly troubled. NAFTA seems to threaten as much as it promises; economic relations are shaky, underscored by the Mexican currency collapse; the "war on drugs" is escalating; and xenophobic reactions to the mass migrations ofLatin Americans into the United States, typified by California's Proposition 187, seize headlines and editorial pages. Spanning almost two hundred years, Talons of the Eagle tells the turbulent story of U.S.-Latin American relations from the early years of the United States and the new Latin American nations through the Cold War to the present day. Focusing not on U.S. policy alone, but on the intricate network ofrelationships between the United States and its smaller neighbors, Peter H. Smith sheds new light on events in our own backyard. Beginning with the balance-of-power politics of the nineteenth century and the nascent United States's efforts to establish its own sphere of influence in the New World,Smith describes the complex interplay between United States intervention and Latin American reactions. By the advent of World War II, the United States had launched more than 30 military operations in Latin America. Latin American reactions varied from lofty visions of continental unity to vigorousexpressions of nationalistic and cultural resistance. Later, in the years of the Cold War, the United States struggled to eradicate perceived Soviet influence, often allying itself with dictators and despots in Latin America. Covert and overt American operations ranged from eight attempts toassassinate Fidel Castro to the Bay of Pigs, armed intervention in the Dominican Republic, and the invasion of Grenada. In the aftermath of the Cold War, U.S.-Latin American relations are dominated by economic and social questions, from drug trafficking and the "war on drugs," which Smith covers indetail, to illegal immigration from countries such as Haiti and Mexico. What happens next will depend on the same factors that have dominated relations in the past: US policy is heavily influenced by the global and international climate, and Latin American responses are dictated, to a large extent,by the unequal balance of power between the US and the rest of the Western hemisphere. Blending analytical rigor with illuminating anecdotes, Talons of the Eagle provides a highly readable and up-to-date account of U.S.-Latin American relations over the past two centuries, and offers provocative insight into the future.
Publisher: New York : Oxford University Press, 1996
ISBN: 9780195083033
Branch Call Number: 327.73 S656t
Characteristics: xii, 377 p. : ill., maps ; 25 cm


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