The Century of U.S. Capitalism in Latin America / Edition 1

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Overview

This book addresses two issues basic to understanding modern Latin America: the role of American-owned businesses in the region and, of equal importance, the reaction of Latin Americans to foreign investment. Throughout the nineteenth century and up to the 1930s, American corporations stridently resisted local opposition as they secured what they wanted in Latin America, cheap labor, plentiful raw materials, and favorable business conditions. After World War II, Latin American nationalism and revolutions forced American-owned enterprises to redefine their business model throughout the region. U.S. businesses integrated themselves into local societies through direct investment in manufacturing and the creation of broad-based consumer societies eager to buy everything from Coca-Cola to Chevrolets. As a new century dawns, multinational corporations aided by NAFTA ensure computers and cellular phones are as sought after as soft drinks and cars were in earlier eras.

The first book on U.S. business activity in Latin America intended specifically for student readers, this account offers a balanced and insightful understanding of the nature of capitalism abroad. In assessing how U.S.-Latin American relations have been shaped by foreign investment, O'Brien argues that over the course of the twentieth century U.S. businesses and their government have forged a close working alliance to promote American interests in Latin America.

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Editorial Reviews

Books for the Western Library
This work provides a much-needed balance to the literature on capitalism in the Americas . . . [it] will be of considerable interest and use to all students of U.S. and Latin American history. It is necessary reading for anyone wishing to more fully understand the role of U.S. capitalism in the Americas.
Latin American Reviews
. . . a very useful teaching tool. It is well-written. . . . O'Brien has accomplished the difficult aim of presenting both the U.S. and the Latin American perspectives of the story in a balanced manner.
New Mexico Historical Review
The author has written an optimistic book about U.S. economic involvement in Latin America in the twentieth century. . . . Hopefully it will inspire undergraduate students to think critically about how the international economy has impacted so many aspects of Latin American societies and cultures.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826319968
  • Publisher: University of New Mexico Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/1999
  • Series: Dialogos Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 213
  • Sales rank: 541,172
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Thomas F. O'Brien is professor and chair of the history department at the University of Houston and a specialist on business interests in Latin America.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
1 Merchants and Their Missions, 1776-1872 3
2 The Golden Age, 1876-1921 25
3 Resistance and Populism, 1922-1939 73
4 War and Nationalism, 1939-1959 101
5 From Revolution to Neoliberalism, 1959-1999 137
Notes 171
Bibliography 181
Glossary 187
Index 191
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