Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq
Paperback, 414 pp.
A fast-paced narrative history of the coups, revolutions, and invasions by which the United States has toppled fourteen foreign governments -- not always to its own benefit.
"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 Americas regime-change centurythe imperial era, which brought Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Nicaragua, and Honduras under Americas 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.