Matthew's Reviews > Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq

Overthrow by Stephen Kinzer
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's review
Jul 08, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: current-affairs, history
Read from July 08 to 13, 2012 — I own a copy

Kinzer takes several instances of "regime change" perpetrated by the United States, and shows that, in most cases, regime change hurt our interests, rather than helped them. In some cases, American coups or invasions caused massive resentment among the population of the targeted country. The best-case scenario is Hawaii, which ended up becoming a full state, or perhaps Puerto Rico, which ended up in a pseudo-colonial state of benign neglect, neither a part of the U.S. nor the other countries of the Caribbean. At worst, you get to be Iraq or the Philippines. The key factor that Kinzer identifies seems to be overconfidence, from McKinley, through Dulles and Kissinger, all the way to Dubya. It made me think about the wisdom of intervening in Syria to pull the Assads down, and wonder whether Libya really has a bright future ahead of it.

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