The Last Years of the Monroe Doctrine, 1945-1993

Paperback (Print)
Buy Used
Buy Used from
(Save 41%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 90%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (33) from $1.99   
  • New (13) from $5.80   
  • Used (20) from $1.99   


When President Monroe issued his 1823 doctrine on U.S. policy in the Western Hemisphere, it quickly became as sacred to Americans as the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. But in the years after World War II - notably in Guatemala in 1954, in Brazil in 1963, in Chile in 1973, and in El Salvador in the 1980s - our government's policy of supporting repressive regimes in Central and South America hastened the death of the very doctrine that had been invoked to protect us in the Cold War, by associating its application with torture squads, murder, and the denial of the very democratic ideals the Monroe Doctrine was intended to protect. Gaddis Smith's measured but devastating account is essential reading for all those who care how the United States behaves in the world arena.

"This epilogue to well-known history of Monroe Doctrine is a provocative interpretation of how US presidents resolved policy contradiction of accepting Soviet presence in the Caribbean while reaffirming tenets of Monroe Doctrine"--Handbook of Latin American Studies, v. 57.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A badly needed, updated discussion of the Monroe Doctrine; [Smith offers] a different perspective on George Kennan and the origins of the Cold War, and brief, useful overviews of U.S. policies during the 1980s and the 1990s-especially in Haiti, Central America, Chile, and Brazil."—Walter La- Feber, Cornell University
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
President Monroe's 1823 message to Congress, declaring that the U.S. would brook no foreign intervention in our hemisphere, became a Cold War tool to justify Latin American dictatorships, CIA-funded death squads and repressions to ward off an alleged communist threat, contends Smith, a history professor at Yale. In a cogent study, he explains how the U.S. molded the U.N. Charter to bar the U.N. from political involvement in the West. Eisenhower used the Monroe Doctrine as a cover to overthrow Guatemala's liberal reformist president Jacobo Arbenz in 1954, replacing him with a dictator. Critics blasted Kennedy for failing the Doctrine by allowing Cuba to become a ``Soviet protectorate.'' Ostensibly to prevent another Cuba, the efforts of LBJ and Nixon to bolster repressive regimes in Brazil and Chile were ``infused with Monroeism,'' and Reagan invoked it in his proxy war against Nicaragua's Sandinistas. Smith argues that the Doctrine has become irrelevant with the end of the Cold War. (Aug.)
Library Journal
The Monroe Doctrine, first proclaimed by President James Monroe in 1823, has served as a guidepost for American policy toward Latin America for 170 years. Smith, one of our most prominent diplomatic historians and director of Yale's Center for International and Area Studies, provides an historical overview of our use of this doctrine in our sometimes tortuous relations with our neighbors to the south. Smith's basic point is that with the demise of the Soviet Union, the Monroe Doctrine and its use as a justification for American intervention in the affairs of nations below the Rio Grande has passed into history. Indeed, Smith argues, even by the 1980s, U.S. activities in Panama, Nicaragua, and Grenada were defended as necessary not because of fears of Soviet aggression but by concerns over such local issues as drug smuggling and failing economies. This is solid and informative history written by a well-established master of the craft. Recommended for all libraries.-Ed Goedeken, Iowa State Univ. Lib., Ames
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780809015689
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 11/30/1995
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 280
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

Gaddis Smith is Larned Professor of History at Yale University, where he has taught the history of American diplomacy and foreign policy since 1961. He is the author of numerous books, including Morality, Reason, and Power: American Diplomacy in the Carter Years.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

1 Whatever Happened to the Monroe Doctrine? 3
2 The Historical Legacy 21
3 The Ghost at San Francisco 41
4 The Kennan Corollary and Guatemala 65
5 Aground and Shattered on Cuba 91
6 No More Cubas: The Monroe Doctrine under Johnson and Nixon 113
7 Premature Obituary: The Doctrine and Jimmy Carter 139
8 A Tale of Three Doctrines: Reagan, Brezhnev, and Monroe 161
9 Nicaragua: The Self-Inflicted Wound 185
10 Fade Away 211
Notes 231
Bibliography 259
Index 271
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)