Bitter Fruit

Bitter Fruit

The Story of the American Coup in Guatemala

Book - 2005
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A comprehensive and insightful account of the CIA operation to overthrow the democratically elected government of Jacobo Arbenz of Guatemala in 1954. First published in 1982, this book has become a classic, a textbook case of the relationship between the United States and the Third World. The authors make extensive use of U.S. government documents and interviews with former CIA and other officials. It is a warning of what happens when the United States abuses its power.--From publisher description.
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University, David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, 2005.
Edition: Rev. and expanded ed., 2nd David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies ed.
ISBN: 9780674019300
Branch Call Number: 972.81 SCHLESINGER 2005
Characteristics: xxxviii, 330 pages : illustrations, maps ; 23 cm.
Additional Contributors: Kinzer, Stephen


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Jul 26, 2014

This is a most excellently researched and invaluable book, so in adding to what the authors wrote, I am not criticizing, just expanding. First, on p. 115, the authors mentioned a /// secretive American entreprenuer \\\ when the inform of us of the phony Medical Institute and medical research firms set up by him and the CIA -- they don't name, but are referring to Floyd Odlum [and his investment firm, Atlas Corporation] who was the financial backer behind United Fruit, a director there at one time, and the major supporter of Eisenhower in his presidential campaign. [The best info on Floyd Odlum is to be found at the Eisenhower Presidential Library, and in other mentions of him he is referred to as a Big Business democrat, but he always appeared to support the republicans.] Also, things were much worse for the people and government of Guatemala, as the authors failed to mention that the World Bank's president, John McCloy [later to be the top guy at the Warren Commission] turned that country down for all loans as he didn't like their agrarian land reform policy - - which President Arbenz hoped to raise the standard of overall living, to make Guatemala into a modern capitalist state. Truth of the matter, Wall Street wanted to keep Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaruagua as their personal feudal states. I do take issue with the authors for repeating Kermit Roosevelt's justification for the overthrow of the democratically elected president of Iran, Mossadegh, without offering a countering analysis or rationale. Examine the news and press within Iran at that time: you will find no large groups clamoring for foreign ownership and control of their oil, nor people clamoring for a return of the shah. [If you are ever in Washington, D.C. and visiting the Corcoran Art Gallery, take a moment to reflect upon how many innocents in Latin America died for such to be built?]


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