In Kissinger and Latin America, Stephen G. Rabe analyzes U.S. policies toward Latin America during a critical period of the Cold War. Except for the issue of Chile under Salvador Allende, historians have largely ignored inter-American relations during the presidencies of Richard M. Nixon and Gerald R. Ford. Rabe also offers a way of adding to and challenging the prevailing historiography on one of the most preeminent policymakers in the history of U.S. foreign relations. Scholarly studies on Henry Kissinger and his policies between 1969 and 1977 have tended to survey Kissinger's approach to the world, with an emphasis on initiatives toward the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China and the struggle to extricate the United States from the Vietnam conflict. Kissinger and Latin America offers something new—analyzing U.S. policies toward a distinct region of the world during Kissinger's career as national security adviser and secretary of state.
Rabe further challenges the notion that Henry Kissinger dismissed relations with the southern neighbors. The energetic Kissinger devoted more time and effort to Latin America than any of his predecessors—or successors—who served as the national security adviser or secretary of state during the Cold War era. He waged war against Salvador Allende and successfully destabilized a government in Bolivia. He resolved nettlesome issues with Mexico, Peru, Ecuador, and Venezuela. He launched critical initiatives with Panama and Cuba. Kissinger also bolstered and coddled murderous military dictators who trampled on basic human rights. South American military dictators whom Kissinger favored committed international terrorism in Europe and the Western Hemisphere.
"This wide-ranging book from Stephen G. Rabe reveals Kissinger's centrality to U.S.-Latin American relations during a critical moment in the Western Hemisphere. Rabe convincingly argues that Kissinger was invested in developing and implementing U.S. diplomacy in the region, and he casts new light on the lasting consequences of Kissinger's interventions."
Vanessa Walker, Amherst College
"In Kissinger and Latin America, Stephen G. Rabe proves tough but fair. He pulls no punches against Kissinger's vicious support for dictators. Yet Rabe also appreciates the former Secretary of State's open-mindedness on issues ranging from economics to the Panama Canal."
Alan McPherson, Temple University, author of Ghosts of Sheridan Circle
"By incorporating new archival materials, Kissinger and Latin America deepens our understanding of US-Latin American relations during the Nixon and Ford Administrations."
William Michael Schmidli, Leiden University, author of The Fate of Freedom Elsewhere