Bitter Fruit: The Story of the American Coup in Guatemala (Latin American Studies)
Bitter Fruit is a comprehensive and insightful account of the CIA operation to overthrow the democratically elected government of Jacobo Arbenz of Guatemala in 1954. First published in 1982, this book has become a classic, a textbook case of the relationship between the United States and the Third World. The authors make extensive use of U.S. government documents and inte...more
Unlike some reviewers, I don't find it biased at all, in fact I read it without much knowledge of the conflic ...more
Formerly a colony of Spain, Guatemala became the property of the United Fruit Company. In addition to millions o ...more
Kinzer's book on Nicaragua in the 1980s, Blood of Brothers, is one of the best and most ...more
One of my biggest take aways was ...more
To call the U.S. government "complicit" in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Guatemalans would be a generous understatement, given the role our CIA, State Department, and militar ...more
* Fun fact: United Fruit hired a prominent P.R. guy (who wrote a book called Propaganda) to create the impression Guatemala was filled with Communists so that the Eisenhower administration etc. etc.
Kinzer and Schlesinger do a solid job of uncovering sources, documents, and conversations that together converge into the second US "regime change," or intervention (the first having been Iran and the overthrow of Mossadeq - a story incidentally covered by Kinzer years later in a s ...more
It is one of the few books I could find that dealt with Guatemalan history exclusively. I need to reread it now that I got the basics down, and maybe I'll get more of their particular point of view.
Their main thesis, as I remember it (because I write this 6 years after having read the book) is that the intervention in Guatemala in '55 was more due to the Arbenz government being a threa ...more
The work opens with a vivid account of the ...more
U.S. businesses (mainly the United Fruit Company) didn't like Arbenz's reform policies, so they lobbied the CIA to paint Arbenz as a communist in a massive, well-coordinated smear/fear campaign. Basically, the privileged United Fruit Company didn't like the idea of Guatemala having a leader who wasn't on their company payroll.
As a result, U.S. trained r ...more
A blurb on the back says it reads like a cloak and dag ...more
This is the story of how the CIA conspired with a banana company to overthrow Guatemala's democratically elected president in the early 1950s. It's sort of a replay of what the US did to Iran a couple years previously: imaginary "communist" threat, incumbent president who enjoyed popular support, underhanded shenanigans on the part of the CIA ...more