Richard K. Betts reviews Overthrow: America’s Century of Regime Change From Hawaii to Iraq by Stephen Kinzer, in the New York Times:
By Stephen Kinzer’s count, the United States has toppled foreign governments 14 times in the 110 years between the 1893 coup in Hawaii and the occupation of Iraq, making regime change by force as American as apple pie. But Mr. Kinzer says the results are always damaging to the countries involved, and to American security as well.
Mr. Kinzer, formerly a foreign correspondent for The New York Times, has written on this subject before, in books on United States intervention in Iran and Guatemala. In ”Overthrow” he surveys all 14 cases in an admirably written page-turner.
Although the book does not add to historical knowledge of the individual cases, it may be the first to bring them together in a comparison over time. This makes the narrative more interesting than a single case study, but also more depressing.
In Mr. Kinzer’s treatment there are no bright spots. In one instance after another, arrogant Americans are shown tossing out legitimate governments and installing corrupt brutes who turn out to cause more problems for foreign policy than did the ousted leaders.
Mr. Kinzer’s main explanation for these recurrent misadventures is greed.
More here. [Thanks to Syed Tasnim Raza.]