Empire's Workshop (Updated and Expanded Edition)
March 2, 2021  /  368 pages  (is this book fiction or nonfiction?)

“A pathbreaking work about how policies forged in blood and fire in Latin America were then exported to every corner of the globe. This brilliant and up-to-the-minute new edition is absolutely crucial to understanding our perilous present.” —Naomi Klein, author of The Shock Doctrine

Empire's Workshop is the classic analysis of Latin America’s role as proving ground for imperial US strategies and tactics, now in a thoroughly updated and revised edition.

Examining over a century of US intervention in Latin America, acclaimed historian Greg Grandin reveals how the region has long served as a laboratory for US foreign policy, providing generations of Washington policy makers with an opportunity to rehearse a broad range of diplomatic and military tactics—tactics that then were applied elsewhere in the world as the US became a global superpower. During the Great Depression, for instance, FDR’s Good Neighbor policy taught the United States to use “soft power” effectively and provided a blueprint for its postwar “empire by invitation.” In the 1980s, Reagan likewise turned to Latin America, but now to rehabilitate “hard power” after the debacle of Vietnam, putting the United States on the road to its current crisis: endless, forever wars.

This completely revised edition includes new information on the US invasion of Panama, US interventions in Cuba, Guatemala, and Chile, Plan Colombia and the War on Drugs, the Obama administration’s involvement in the 2009 coup in Honduras, and the current crisis at the US-Mexico border, caused by decades of misguided Washington policies. Most provocatively, Grandin argues that the origins of many of the current threats to American democracy—disinformation, permanent surveillance, political extremism and out-of-control militarism—were foreshadowed in the United States’ Central American policy.

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