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Architects of Intervention

The United States, the Third World, and the Cold War, 1946-1962

Eisenhower Center Studies on War and Peace

248 pages / 6.00 x 9.00 inches / None

Political Science & Political History

  Paperback / 9780807123416 / March 1999

In telling the story of seven of the most significant U.S. interventions during the key cold war years, Zachary Karabell reveals in Architects of Intervention a complex interplay between the American government and third world actors in designing U.S. policy in their respective countries.

Cold war historians have tended to stress the decisions made in Washington (or alternately Moscow) and their effect on the third world, but Karabell assigns a roughly equal role to third world countries as architects both of their own histories and of the international system of the cold war. He begins by describing U.S. mediation in Greece and Italy and then moves to the core of his argument: interventions in Iran, Guatemala, Lebanon, and Cuba. Those involvements, he explains, arose not only out of decisions made in Washington but also out of actions in the cafes of Beirut, in the streets of Havana, in the alleys of Tehran, and in the jungles of Guatemala. Lastly Karabell considers American intervention in Laos, characterizing it as a harbinger of Vietnam.

Brilliantly conceived, thoroughly researched, and eloquently written, Architects of Interventionrepresents a major new interpretation of U.S. foreign relations history with significant implications for present-day policy making. 

Zachary Karabell is senior researcher at the Kennedy School of Government and the author of What's College For? The Struggle to Define American Higher Education.

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