Discussing the US (mis)adventures in Central America and the Caribbean

The US has a complicated history with Latin America, but it is acutely complex in Central America and the Caribbean. A central element of this past has been the uncanny and persistent policies of intervention and occupation. Indeed, it is a key them in my US-Latin American Relations course this semester. A key question regarding these policies is, “Was it worth it?” A second question is, “How did the intervened and occupied respond?” The answers to these questions are explored in The Invaded by Alan McPherson (Oxford UP, 2014).


My students submitted their papers on this book. I had them contemplate the responses by Latin Americans to occupation, as explored in detail by McPherson, and integrate them with select writings of José Martí, José Enrique Rodó, and Rubén Darió.

It should make for a vigorous discussion, especially as we gauge the author’s insistence on the concept of ‘political culture’ – something not very well developed in my view – and the view that non-violent means were more successful than violent ones in bringing about the end to occupation.

Also, we will look to see if we can find any connective threads between the writers (Martí, Rodó, and Darió) and the actors explored in the book and what that may tell us about persistent Latin American views of the US.


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