Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq

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Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq

Author: Stephen Kinzer
Publisher: Henry Holt
Copyright: 2006
Pages: 416
Cover Price: $ 17.99

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"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 toppling of the Hawaiian monarchy in 1893, 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 but the latest 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 foreign regimes. He details the three eras of America's regime-change century--the imperial era, which brought Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Nicaragua, and Honduras under America's sway; the cold war era, which employed covert action against Iran, Guatemala, South Vietnam, and Chile; and the invasion era, which saw American troops toppling governments in Grenada, Panama, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

Kinzer explains why the U.S. government has pursued these operations and why so many of them have had disastrous long-term consequences, making Overthrow a cautionary tale that serves as an urgent warning as the United States seeks to define its role in the modern world.

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Background Information

George W. Bush was elected president in a hotly contested election in 2000, becoming only the second son of a president to gain the office. In 1893 an American-inspired revolt removed the Queen of Hawaii from her throne, but Grover Cleveland refused to let the annexation treaty through Congress. The United States invaded Iraq in 2003 with the intent of destroying Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction, which turned out not to exist. The island of Cuba, just off the Florida coast in the Caribbean, was a Spanish colony from the 16th century until the Spanish-American War in 1898. President William McKinley drew his inspiration for the US policy towards the Philippines during a nighttime revelation, which told him to bring them into the American sphere.