Aid, Nationalism and Inter-American Relations. Guatemala, Bolivia and the United States 1945-1961

Author: Siekmeier, James
This study sets up a whole new framework for examining United States-Latin American relations. It argues that US policy toward Latin America was driven by a fear of economic nationalism. Economic nationalists in Latin America in the 1950s wanted to control foreign trade and investment in their nations, to diversify their economies and, in some cases, promote industrialization. The study examines how US officials used economic aid policy in Guatemala and Bolivia to eliminate economic nationalism in those nations.


“. . . solid historical writing. . . . The chapters flow one into the other making for easy readability. Siekmeier leads the reader from one point to another which will make this book accessible to a large and various audience including undergraduates, graduate students, and specialists in the field. . . a well-researched, well-written, and well-organized piece of historical writing and makes an important contribution to the field of the inter-American relations.” – W. Michael Weis

“Siekmeier arrives at [his] conclusions by having delved deeply into the primary sources covering the era and having read widely into the secondary literature that rethinks older explanations for US involvement in Latin America. . . . In proposing such a revisionist viewpoint concerning foreign policy in Latin America, Professor Siekmeier is especially instructive by turning to the cases of Guatemala and Bolivia and the US response to the revolutions therein. He makes quite clear that the specter of communist infiltration in the Central American and Andean countries did not worry US officials. . . . we learn a great deal about US foreign policy during the Truman-Eisenhower eras.” – Arnoldo De León

Table of Contents

Table of Contents:
Preface, Introduction
1. The Fight Against Economic Nationalism – The Early Years
2. Fighting Economic Nationalism in the Early Postwar Era, 1945-1952
3. The Institute of Inter-American Affairs and Latin American Society, 1945-1953
4. The First Eisenhower Administration – Debating means to Fight Economic Nationalism in Latin America, 1953-1956
5. Revolutions in Guatemala and Bolivia – The Initial US Response, 1944-1956
6. Crisis in United States-Developing World Relations, 1956-1957
7. Significant Changes in US Latin American Policy, 1957-1959
8. Tragic Denouement in Bolivia and Guatemala, 1956-1964
9. Cuba and The “Underprivileged Masses” – Confronting Social Revolution, 1959-1960
10. Free Trade Zones and the Legacy of Aid and Development Policy, 1945-1961
Bibliography, Index