Please join HFSD for a lively discussion of a book that focuses on history not taught in U.S. schools: the U.S. government's policy of "regime change," which resulted in the overthrow of many countries over the past century or so. Overthrowing these countries had nothing to do with bringing "freedom and democracy" to their people and much to do with maximizing the profits of U.S. corporations. This is a timely topic given the recent 10th anniversary of the invasion and occupation of Iraq.
"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: America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq, 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.
About Stephen Kinzer
Stephen Kinzer is an award-winning foreign correspondent who has reported from more than fifty countries on four continents. He has served as The New York Times bureau chief in Turkey, Germany, and Nicaragua. Before joining the Times, he was the Latin American correspondent for The Boston Globe. His previous books include All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror, Crescent and Star: Turkey Between Two Worlds, and Blood of Brothers: Life and War in Nicaragua. He is also the coauthor of Bitter Fruit: The Untold Story of the American Coup in Guatemala. He lives in Chicago.
Kinzer is a fierce opponent of U.S. foreign policy toward Latin America. In a 2010 interview with Imagineer Magazine, he stated:
The effects of U.S. intervention in Latin America have been overwhelming negative. They have had the effect of reinforcing brutal and unjust social systems and crushing people who are fighting for what we would actually call “American values.” In many cases, if you take Chile, Guatemala, or Honduras for examples, we actually overthrew governments that had principles similar to ours and replaced those democratic, quasi-democratic, or nationalist leaders with people who detest everything the United States stands for.
About the 19th Hole Restaurant
The 19th Hole Restaurant has one of the best views in all of San Diego. We will meet on the outdoor patio if it is available. Here is a good article on this restaurant from the San Diego Reader.
Please note that this restaurant does NOT take credit cards. It is a cash only restaurant.