The Last Colonial Massacre Latin America in the Cold War (2011) - Greg Grandin
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 The Last Colonial Massacre Latin America in the Cold War (2011) - Greg Grandin

Written by Greg Grandin
Edition: 2011
Format(s): PDF
Language: English

Publication Date: July 30, 2011 | ISBN-10: 0226306909 | ISBN-13: 978-0226306902 | Edition: Second Edition, Updated Edition
After decades of bloodshed and political terror, many lament the rise of the left in Latin America. Since the triumph of Castro, politicians and historians have accused the left there of rejecting democracy, embracing communist totalitarianism, and prompting both revolutionary violence and a right-wing backlash. Through unprecedented archival research and gripping personal testimonies, Greg Grandin powerfully challenges these views in this classic work. In doing so, he uncovers the hidden history of the Latin American Cold War: of hidebound reactionaries holding on to their power and privilege; of Mayan Marxists blending indigenous notions of justice with universal ideas of equality; and of a United States supporting new styles of state terror throughout the region.

With Guatemala as his case study, Grandin argues that the Latin American Cold War was a struggle not between political liberalism and Soviet communism but two visions of democracy—one vibrant and egalitarian, the other tepid and unequal—and that the conflict’s main effect was to eliminate homegrown notions of social democracy. Updated with a new preface by the author and an interview with Naomi Klein, The Last Colonial Massacre is history of the highest order—a work that will dramatically recast our understanding of Latin American politics and the role of the United States in the Cold War and beyond.

“This work admirably explains the process in which hopes of democracy were brutally repressed in Guatemala and its people experienced a civil war lasting for half a century.”—International History Review

“A richly detailed, humane, and passionately subversive portrait of inspiring reformers tragically redefined by the Cold War as enemies of the state.”—Journal of American History

Review
"In a series of remarkable biographies Grandin shows how men and women made high politics and high politics made them, demonstrating that the Cold War was waged not only in the airy game rooms of nuclear strategists but 'in the closed quarters of family, sex, and community.'" (London Review of Books) "A searing indictment of U.S. imperialism in Latin America." (Science & Society) "This work admirably explains the process in which hopes of democracy were brutally repressed in Guatemala and its people experienced a civil war lasting for half a century." (International History Review) "A richly detailed, humane, and passionately subversive portrait of inspiring reformers tragically redefined by the Cold War as enemies of the state." (Journal of American History)"
From the Inside Flap
Latin America today is seen by many as the crown jewel of the U.S. effort to spread freedom throughout the world. During the Cold War, the argument goes, the United States defeated Latin American communism, paving the way for the region's embrace of capitalist democracy and making Latin America the model to be emulated around the globe. The Last Colonial Massacre mounts a powerful challenge to this view.

Through unprecedented archival research and gripping personal testimonies, Greg Grandin uncovers a hidden history of the Latin American Cold War: of hidebound reactionaries holding on to their power and privilege; of Mayan Marxists blending indigenous notions of justice with universal ideas of equality; and of a United States supporting new styles of state terror throughout the continent. Drawing from declassified U.S. documents, Grandin exposes Washington's involvement in the 1966 secret execution of over thirty Guatemalan leftists, prefiguring later disappearances in Chile and Argentina.

With Guatemala as his case study, Grandin also argues that the Latin American Cold War was a struggle not between political liberalism and Soviet communism but two visions of democracy--one vibrant and egalitarian, the other tepid and unequal. And ultimately the conflict's main effect was to eliminate home-grown notions of social democracy. Grandin provocatively concludes that the definition of democracy now being extolled as the best weapon in the war against terror is itself a product of terror.

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