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Andy Kirkendall publishes “Hemispheric Alliances”

Andrew KirkendallDr. Andrew J. Kirkendall has just published his latest book, Hemispheric Alliances:  Liberal Democrats and Cold War Latin America, with the University of North Carolina Press.  Please check out the book at the UNC Press website here

In Hemispheric Alliances, Dr. Kirkendall explores how liberal Democrats sought to create new models for U.S.-Latin American relations that went beyond containing communism.  In an age of decolonization and in response to the ideological challenge of the Cuban Revolution, the Kennedy administration introduced the Alliance for Progress, which promised large-scale socioeconomic reform and democracy promotion in Latin America—moral leadership over mere militarism.  During the tumult of the Vietnam War in the late 1960s and early 1970s, liberal Democrats, in particular, embraced human rights.  Both the Alliance for Progress and human rights assumed a special U.S. responsibility for Latin America and significantly complicated foreign policy making.  Kirkendall finds that the Alliance for Progress and human rights emphasis left mixed legacies.  This Latin American focus of liberal Democrats was dissolved by the Nixon, Reagan, and Bush administrations who favored a more militant containment of communism.

Hemispheric Alliances comes with high praise.  Dr. Jeremy Suri, the Mack Brown Distinguished Chair of History and Public Affairs at the University of Texas, writes of Hemispheric Alliances, “This is the best account of American liberal efforts to pursue democratic reforms in Latin America during the Cold War.  Every serious observer of U.S. foreign policy should read this book.”