- Paperback: 358 pages
- Publisher: Harvard University Press; New edition edition (23 Dec. 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 067401930X
- ISBN-13: 978-0674019300
- Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 14 x 2.4 cm
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 645,738 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Bitter Fruit: The Story of the American Coup in Guatemala (David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies) Paperback – 23 Dec 2005
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About the Author
Stephen Schlesinger is Director of the World Policy Institute Stephen Kinzer is cultural correspondent for The New York Times.
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Top Customer Reviews
In a depressingly familiar pattern, we see economic motives tied to blinkered ideology and opportunism resulting in death, the destruction of a country and a generation's dreams, and decades of suffering.
The cast of characters includes E. Howard Hunt, of Watergate infamy.
Observers of modern-day populist leaders in Latin America (e.g. Morales in Bolivia and Chavez in Venezuela) would do well to understand the historical context provided by this book; every leader who opposes the USA is sharply aware of what happened to Arbenz in Guatemala.
United Fruit, the company who were most threatened by Arbenz's land reforms, are now called Chiquita. For more on that side of the story, there's Bananas!: How the United Fruit Company Shaped the World
Reading the book made me feel anger bordering on hatred towards Dulles and Eisenhower. The strutting self important Peurifoy dictating to another nation. Eisenhower elsewhere did some good things. I despair in thinking about how they rationalised actions like this coup and the one in Iran and their self righteous public declarations.
Some influential americans disagreed with these policies but they were sidelined. Bernays and United Fruit are fit for contempt only. The US press with exceptions comes across as a passive tool of government policy without curiosity.
I felt sad for the decades long mess in Guatemala and the appalling violence which the US condoned especially in the sixties - wack the mole and it will disappear permanently
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Kinzer and Schlesinger's writing is impeccable, and somehow manages to stay apolitical. The authors do an excellent job of not flaunting the miscues of the American overthrow of Guatemala's democratically elected government, but merely let the facts from all angles tell their own story. In addition, the writing is quite fast-paced in style but pays attentive detail to fact and exhautively denotes the sources behind the writing. I purchased this for reading as part of a class assignment - and then cited it in two places in my senior essay!
So instead of buying a FICTIONAL thriller or adventure or spy novel for your downtime reading, why not pick up a book where the plot . . . actually happened?! In addition, despite being originally published a quarter century ago, the book is amazingly relevant to issues in today's foreign policy (*cough* Iraq *cough*). Also, I HIGHLY recommend for history buffs like myself - but this book can be enjoyed by anyone. Well, "enjoyed" isn't really the word - after reading this book, I felt a sense of anger towards our government for their selfish actions 50 years ago, and a sense of pity toward the people of Guatemala, who had no idea what hit them. But the feelings weren't on the level as to wish that I had never read the book - on the contrary, it made me feel more enlightened both about the Cold War era as well as today's international climate.
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