The Dictator Next Door: The Good Neighbor Policy and the Trujillo Regime in the Dominican Republic, 1930-1945 / Edition 1

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Overview

The question of how U.S. foreign policy should manage relations with autocratic governments, particularly in the Caribbean and Latin America, has always been difficult and complex. In The Dictator Next Door Eric Paul Roorda focuses on the relations between the U.S. and the Dominican Republic following Rafael Trujillo’s seizure of power in 1930. Examining the transition from the noninterventionist policies of the Hoover administration to Roosevelt’s Good Neighbor policy, Roorda blends diplomatic history with analyses of domestic politics in both countries not only to explore the political limits of American hegemony but to provide an in-depth view of a crucial period in U.S. foreign relations.
Although Trujillo’s dictatorship was enabled by prior U.S. occupation of the Dominican Republic, the brutality of his regime and the reliance on violence and vanity to sustain his rule was an untenable offense to many in the U.S. diplomatic community, as well as to certain legislators, journalists, and bankers. Many U.S. military officers and congressmen, however—impressed by the civil order and extensive infrastructure the dictator established—comprised an increasingly powerful Dominican lobby. What emerges is a picture of Trujillo at the center of a crowded stage of international actors and a U.S. government that, despite events such as Trujillo’s 1937 massacre of 12,000 Haitians, was determined to foster alliances with any government that would oppose its enemies as the world moved toward war.
Using previously untapped records, privately held papers, and unpublished photographs, Roorda demonstrates how caution, confusion, and conflicting goals marked U.S. relations with Trujillo and set the tone for the ambivalent Cold War relations that prevailed until Trujillo’s assassination in 1961. The Dictator Next Door will interest Latin Americanists, historians, political scientists, and specialists in international relations and diplomacy.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
The Dictator Next Door is a powerfully argued, full-blown diplomatic history that sheds much useful light on a crucial period of United States foreign relations. There are many fine studies of the Good Neighbor Policy, but none comes close to Roorda’s densely textured knowledge of U.S.-Dominican relations.”— Lars Schoultz, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

“An excellent piece of research on a topic that is both important and neglected. Roorda’s determination to look at this bilateral relationship as the product of a multiplicity of actors is indeed unique.”—Bruce Calder, University of Illinois at Chicago

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780822321231
  • Publisher: Duke University Press Books
  • Publication date: 10/28/1998
  • Series: American Encounters/Global Interactions Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Eric Paul Roorda is Assistant Professor of History at Bellarmine College in Louisville, Kentucky.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Introduction 1
1 Dominican History, the United States in the Caribbean, and the Origins of the Good Neighbor Policy 6
2 The Dominican Revolution of 1930 and the Policy of Nonintervention 31
3 The Bankrupt Neighbor Policy: Depression Diplomacy and the Foreign Bondholders Protective Council 63
4 What Will the Neighbors Think? Dictatorship and Diplomacy in the Public Eye 88
5 Genocide Next Door: The Haitian Massacre of 1937 and the Sosua Jewish Refugee Settlement 127
6 Gold Braid and Striped Pants: The Culture of Foreign Relations in the Dominican Republic 149
7 Fortress America, Fortaleza Trujillo: The Hull-Trujillo Treaty and the Second World War 192
8 The Good Neighbor Policy and Dictatorship 230
Notes 245
Bibliography 307
Index 327
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