Secret History, Second Edition: Secret History, Second Edition / Edition 2

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The first edition of this book, published in 1999, was well-received, but interest in it has surged in recent years. It chronicles an early example of “regime change” that was based on a flawed interpretation of intelligence and proclaimed a success even as its mistakes were becoming clear. Since 1999, a number of documents relating to the CIA’s activities in Guatemala have been declassified, and a truth and reconciliation process has unearthed other reports, speeches, and writings that shed more light on the role of the United States. For this edition, the author has selected and annotated twenty-one documents for a new documentary Appendix, including President Clinton’s apology to the people of Guatemala.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Nick Cullather sheds new light on an old regime change, assissted by documents initially made public during the tenure of former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director (and current Secretary of Defense) Robert Gates. Cullather's work is concise, detailed, and eminantly readable...In summary, Cullather provides a realistic and nuanced view of an otherwise well-covered operation, see through the eyes of the agency that led PBSUCCESS...For students of Latin America and U.S. national security policymaking in the region, Cullather has done a great service." —Mark Montesclaros, Department of Joint, Interagency and Multinational Operations, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College
This is a fascinating study, first commissioned in 1992 by the CIA itself as an internal teaching tool and classified "secret," and later (in 1997) made public during a brief vogue for more open disclosure policies at the agency. The relatively few redacted portions are represented in the present volume by blank spaces. The study exposes the specific conditions which led to the CIA's short-lived "success" in its Guatemalan operations, why that success indeed proved illusory, and how the CIA was in error to use the results of its campaign in Guatemala as encouragement to proceed with covert operations in other countries, such as Cuba. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780804754682
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press
  • Publication date: 10/9/2006
  • Edition description: 2
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Nick Cullather is Associate Professor of History at Indiana University. He is the author of Illusions of Influence: The Political Economy of United States-Philippines Relations, 1942-1960 (Stanford University Press, 1994).
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Table of Contents

Introduction: A Culture of Destruction
Foreword to the CIA Edition 5
Ch. 1 America's Backyard 7
Ch. 2 Reversing the Trend 38
Ch. 3 Sufficient Means 74
Ch. 4 The Sweet Smell of Success 105
App. A PBSUCCESS Timeline 127
App. B: Bibliography 133
App. C A Study of Assassination 137
Afterword: The Culture of Fear
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