Relations between the United States and the countries of Latin America have been characterized by misunderstandings based on language and culture, a lack of sustained commitment on the part of the United States, and, in some cases, incompetent diplomats. During the era when many of the Latin American countries discarded the yoke of colonial status, the young United States attempted to define itself culturally, economically, constitutionally, geographically, and diplomatically. As Latin American emerged from the crucible of revolution and international power politics, it was affected by—and in varying degrees affected—the United States and its desired position of leadership in the Western Hemisphere.
To make sense of these relationships, this volume concentrates on Central America, Peru, Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Mexico. Describing the particular paths taken by each of the formation of relations with the United States, Shurbutt and his colleagues focus on the American diplomatic community and its effectiveness in tense political situations.
Contributors in addition to the editor include Lawrence A. Clayton, Paul B. Goodwin, Eugene R. Huck, Phil Brian Johnson, Edward H. Moseley, Wesley P. Newton, Charles S. Stansifer, and Robert Kim Stevens.