Gunboat Democracy: U.S. Interventions in the Dominican Republic, Grenada, and Panama

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9780742550476: Gunboat Democracy: U.S. Interventions in the Dominican Republic, Grenada, and Panama

In this balanced and thought-provoking study, Russell Crandall examines the American decision to intervene militarily in three key episodes in American foreign policy: the Dominican Republic, Grenada, and Panama. Drawing upon previously classified intelligence sources and interviews with policymakers, Crandall analyzes the complex deliberations and motives behind each intervention and shows how the decision to intervene was driven by a perceived threat to American national security. By bringing together three important cases, Gunboat Democracy makes it possible to interpret and compare these examples and study the political systems left in the wake of intervention. Particularly salient in today's foreign policy arena, this work holds important lessons for questions of regime change and democracy by force.

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About the Author:

Russell Crandall is associate professor of political science at Davidson College. He is the author of Driven by Drugs: U.S Policy Toward Colombia and co-editor of Mexico's Democracy at Work: Political and Economic Dynamics and The Andes in Focus: Security, Democracy, and Economic Reform.

Review:

Gunboat Democracy offers a much-needed corrective to the dominant view that U.S. foreign policy toward the Caribbean and Central America has been driven by nefarious motives, that U.S. imperialism has changed little since the 19th century, and that U.S. interventions have left these countries worse off. Russell Crandall demonstrates with these three cases that U.S. foreign policy has been largely based on security concerns, that it has evolved during the last century, and that its interventions have probably helped to promote democracy and stability. Provocative and insightful, the book's cases are first rate. (Robert S. Snyder)

In this important and well-reasoned study, a former Bush administration official audaciously takes on the academic orthodoxy to defend three U.S. military interventions in the Caribbean basin. . . . Gunboat Democracy is a significant contribution and a compelling revisionist counterweight to the prevailing literature. (Richard Feinberg Foreign Affairs)

Russell Crandall has produced a well-written and provocative book that contributes to a critical topic: why U.S. presidents choose to invade. In an era of pre-emptive warfare, it is particularly timely. (Gregory B. Weeks)

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