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The School of the Americas: Military Training and Political Violence in the Americas

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  60 ratings  ·  8 reviews
Located at Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia, the School of the Americas (soa) is a U.S. Army center that has trained more than sixty thousand soldiers and police, mostly from Latin America, in counterinsurgency and combat-related skills since it was founded in 1946. So widely documented is the participation of the School’s graduates in torture, murder, and political repre ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published September 13th 2004 by Duke University Press Books (first published January 1st 2004)
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Any suggestion that Lesley Gill’s The School of the Americas is a one-sided or misleading book is absolute nonsense. One of the best scenes in this meticulously reported book is when Gill sits in on an open session of the SOA board while the board members, neglecting her presence, discuss how to portray critics as un-American and how to alter the meeting minutes to conceal their identities and sanitize their discussion. Gill by no means presents the SOA as the lone symbol of US hegemony in Latin ...more
Marla McMackin
School of the Americas is anthropologist Lesley Gill’s examination of “how the United States constructs a repressive military apparatus, in a region long considered by many to be its ‘back-yard,’ through the lens of the U.S. Army’s School of the Americas” (p. 6). Over ten chapters, Gill doesn’t present any new history of the controversial military training center, but instead traces related empire building relationships through the experiences of three groups – U.S. and Latin American military p ...more
This is a one-sided book. Gill takes the stance that all US military intervention has caused harm to Latin America. I will agree that we have not had the best success with our policies toward the region, but none of the negative side-effects were intended to be malicious. Gill presents the SOA as if it were the one symbol for the US attempts to corrupt and manipulate the governments of Latin America. Although she talks with some school officials, she does not spend sufficient time explaining the ...more
Evelyn Achilles
I feel as though Gill was being quite the ethnocentric character. Good book though, I always appreciate facts. I see her argument, but I just believe there's two sides to every story.
Margaret Garigan
I don't think most Americans have any understanding of how our imperial interests have played out in Latin America. This book does a lot to shed light on the subject. It's a little shocking, though, that Duke University Press doesn't have better editors -- someone who would catch, for instance, the misspelling of Leavenworth throughout the book.
B Wondering what the real hype is behind the school in the U.S. that trains military from Central America - and what they train them? Woah, no wonder things are really messed up.
a decent look at the shame of our nation--a torture training school on u.s. soil, paid for by u.s. tax dollars, hidden in plain sight at fort benning in columbus, ga.

excellent connections between structural, repressive, and symbolic violence. as usual, lesley is amazing.
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