Negotiating Paradise: U.S. Tourism and Empire in Twentieth-Century Latin America / Edition 1

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Overview

Accounts of U.S. empire building in Latin America typically portray politically and economically powerful North Americans descending on their southerly neighbors to engage in lopsided negotiations. Dennis Merrill's comparative history of U.S. tourism in Latin America in the twentieth century demonstrates that empire is a more textured, variable, and interactive system of inequality and resistance than commonly assumed.

In his examination of interwar Mexico, early Cold War Cuba, and Puerto Rico during the Alliance for Progress, Merrill demonstrates how tourists and the international travel industry facilitated the expansion of U.S. consumer and cultural power in Latin America. He also shows the many ways in which local service workers, labor unions, business interests, and host governments vied to manage the Yankee invasion. While national leaders negotiated treaties and military occupations, visitors and hosts navigated interracial encounters in bars and brothels, confronted clashing notions of gender and sexuality at beachside resorts, and negotiated national identities. Highlighting the everyday realities of U.S. empire in ways often overlooked, Merrill's analysis provides historical context for understanding the contemporary debate over the costs and benefits of globalization.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Sophisticated and nuanced. . . . Required reading for those interested in the development of tourism in Latin America, cultural enthusiasts . . . and students of Latin American history. Through a masterful blend of theoretical interpretation, the thoughtful use of accounts gleaned from archives, and a thorough understanding of U.S.-Latin American relations, Merrill has created a standard that will remain relevant for years to come in the fields of foreign relations and tourism development.—Florida Historical Quarterly
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807859049
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2009
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Dennis Merrill is professor of history at the University of Missouri at Kansas City. He is author or editor of three previous books, including the two-volume series Major Problems in American Foreign Relations.

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