In Masters of War, Clara Nieto adeptly presents the parallel histories of the countries of Latin America, histories that are intertwined, each reflecting the United States’ "coherent policy of intervention" set into motion by the Monroe Doctrine. As the value of this continued policy comes increasingly into question, Nieto argues for the need to evaluate the alarming precedent set in Latin America: the institution of client dictatorships, the roles played by the interests of U.S. corporations, the enormous tolls taken on civilian populations, and the irreversible disruption of regional stability.
Drawing from an impressive array of documents and sources as well as from her unique first-hand insights as a participant in crucial meetings and negotiations in the region from the mid-1960s through the mid-1980s, Nieto chronicles the Cuban Revolution, the CIA-sponsored coup against popularly elected President Allende in Chile, the U.S. invasions of Panama and Grenada, U.S. support for the cultivation and training of paramilitary death squads in Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Colombia, as well as similarly severe but less well-known situations in other countries such as Uruguay, Venezuela, Argentina, Peru, Bolivia, Honduras, and Guatemala.
Masters of War offers, from an informed perspective, perhaps for the first time, a distanced, objective analysis of recent Latin American history. Clara Nieto’s depth of knowledge and understanding is an invaluable resource at a time when the media is seen as unapologetically aligned with the interests of major corporations and policymakers, and the American public has reached a new height of apprehension regarding the intentions behind and consequences of its government’s policies.
About Howard Zinn
HOWARD ZINN’s (1922–2010) great subject isn’t war, but peace. After his experience as a bombardier in World War II, he became convinced that there could be no such thing as a “just war,” as the vast majority of modern warfare’s victims are made up of innocent civilians. In his books, including A People’s History of the United States and its companion volume, Voices of a People’s History of the United States, Zinn affirms the power of the masses to influence major events. Through a lifetime of pointed scholarship and principled civil disobedience, he has led and continues to lead generations in the ways of peace.