The Banana Wars: A History of United States Military Intervention in Latin America from the Spanish-American War to the Invasion of Pan

Ivan Musicant, Author MacMillan Publishing Company $24.95 (470p) ISBN 978-0-02-588210-2
Musicant's anecdote-studded survey of U.S. interventions in Central America and the Caribbean clearly establishes the differences between Dollar Diplomacy, which transformed some of the target nations to economic vassalship, and the justified interventions that saved others from collapse. The 19-year occupation of Haiti, for instance, was the most prosperous and stable period in that nation's history, he shows. The 1927 intervention in Nicaragua, on the other hand, was unnecessary from both strategic and economic standpoints and ``drew the opprobrium of even the military personnel involved.'' Musicant ( Battleship at War ) discusses the political, economic and strategic background of the interventions in Panama, Cuba, Nicaragua, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Grenada, then turns his narrative skills to the military operations that dominated each episode. His concluding chapter on the December 1989 invasion of Panama is the most complete and clarifying account to date. Photos. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/01/1990
Release date: 08/01/1990
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