“Grandin has always been a brilliant historian; now he uses his detective skills in a book that is absolutely crucial to understanding our present.”―Naomi Klein, author of No Logo
The British and Roman empires are often invoked as precedents to the Bush administration’s aggressive foreign policy. But America’s imperial identity was actually shaped much closer to home. In a brilliant excavation of long-obscured history, Empire’s Workshop shows how Latin America has functioned as a proving ground for American strategies and tactics overseas. Historian Greg Grandin follows the United States’ imperial operations from Jefferson’s aspirations for an “empire of liberty” in Cuba and Spanish Florida to Reagan’s support for brutally oppressive but U.S.-friendly regimes in Central America. He traces the origins of Bush’s current policies back to Latin America, where many of the administration’s leading lights first embraced the deployment of military power to advance free market economics and enlisted the evangelical movement in support of their ventures.
With much of Latin America now in open rebellion against U.S. domination, Grandin asks: If Washington failed to bring prosperity and democracy to Latin America―its own backyard “workshop”―what are the chances it will do so for the world?