The Killing Zone: The United States Wages Cold War in Latin America

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9780195333220: The Killing Zone: The United States Wages Cold War in Latin America

This text will be a concise, interpretive history of U.S. policies in Latin America during the Cold War. This book would be written to the highest scholarly standards but would be accessible to upper-level college students and graduate students at universities. The goal is to write a sharp, bold analysis of U.S. activities in Latin America during the post-war period, a critical time in the history of the Cold War and in the history of inter-American relations.
Due to the broad nature of the topic, this book can be used as a supplement in many courses: U.S. Foreign Policy, Cold War, U.S. Relations with Latin America, and even a Modern Latin America course. Oddly, there is not much direct competition for the proposed book - only Intimate Ties, Bitter Struggles: The United States and Latin America since 1945 by Alan McPherson (Potomac Books). This text, however, will differ in focus than McPherson's text.
The book argues that the United States proved especially effective in winning the Cold War in Latin America. Through overt and covert means, the United States destabilized governments throughout the hemisphere. U.S. policymakers judged these governments as Communist, tolerant of communism, or oblivious to the Communist menace. The United States struck against governments that followed constitutional procedures and democratic processes and professed to be committed to socioeconomic reform. During the period from 1945 to 1989, the United States destabilized governments in Argentina, Brazil, British Guiana (Guyana), Bolivia, Chile, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Uruguay.

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About the Author:

Professor of History at The University of Texas at Dallas (Ph. D. University of Connecticut). His chief research interest is U.S. Foreign Relations with a special emphasis on U.S. relations with Latin America. Rabe has written The Road to OPEC: United States Relations with Venezuela, 1919-1976 (1982) - winner of the Harvey O. Johnson Prize - and Eisenhower and Latin America: The Foreign Policy of Anticommunism (1988) - winner of the Stuart L. Bernath Prize from SHAFR. He has also edited, with Thomas G. Paterson, Imperial Surge: The United States Abroad, The 1890s-Early 1900s. In 1988, SHAFR recognized Rabe with the Bernath Lecture Prize, which is given to the outstanding younger scholar working in international history.


"A tight, compelling, deftly-drawn overview. . . . Rabe helps readers see how this doleful past challenges the popular, triumphalist version of the anticommunist struggle. A fresh, valuable addition to the literature." --Michael H. Hunt, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

"Gracefully written and carefully documented, Rabe takes us inside Washington's policy making process to explain not simply the substance of U.S. policy, but also the logic behind it." --Lars Schoultz, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

"The Killing Zone astutely synthesizes recent cutting-edge scholarship. At once analytic and empathetic, Rabe has delivered a thunderous dissent in the midst of the 'job-well-done' back slapping that continues to pass for much of Cold War historiography." --Greg Grandin, New York University

"Historian Stephen G. Rabe's The Killing Zone is a powerful indictment of United States policy in Latin America during the Cold War. ... The Killing Zone is an engaging synthesis of the literature on recent United States-Latin American relations..." --International Social Science Review

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