Your Americanism and Mine: Americanism and Anti-Americanism in the Americas

The historical evolution of the proper adjective American has made it, without arrogation, synonymous, at least in the English-speaking world, with the less euphonious adjective United States.
Samuel Flagg Bemis, The Latin American Policy of the United States (1943)

The adjective [“American”] must not be taken as the expression of a distinct law, but as the expression of a particular application of general and universal public international law.
Carlos Sánchez i Sánchez, Curso de derecho internacional público americano (1943)

If anyone had good reason to be “anti-American,” it was the Guatemalan political activist and poet Huberto Alvarado Arellano. He was seventeen years old in 1944 when he joined an uprising led by students, middle-class professionals, and urban workers that overthrew a thirteen-year dictatorship, helping to usher in what was perhaps the most ambitious social democratic experiment in post–World War II Latin America. The revolution led to two elected governments that over the course of a decade consolidated constitutional rule, extended the franchise to women, the poor, and Mayans, established state-run social security and health care, enacted a labor code, ended forced labor on coffee plantations, and implemented far-reaching agrarian reform. As part of a young generation of cultural and political modernists, Alvarado helped found both a small but influential communist party, called the Partido Guatemalteco de Trabajo, and Saker-Ti, a group of artists, novelists, and poets dedicated to creating a democratic political culture—no mean task in a society as hierarchal and exclusionary as was Guatemala at that time.

In 1954, however, Guatemala’s “civilized decade,” as Alvarado later described the period, came to an abrupt end when the CIA ousted Jacobo Arbenz, the revolution’s second elected president, in its first Cold War Latin American intervention.[1] Alvarado fled to Mexico, along with thousands of others, many of whom looked to Marxist critiques of imperialism to make sense of their recent experience. One deposed Arbenz official, himself not a communist, sketched out an influential analysis of “monopoly imperialism,” arguing that an alliance of interests between the U.S. Department of State, local economic elites, and foreign corporations, most notably the United Fruit Company, would never allow reforms such as those advanced by the Guatemalan Revolution to mature.[2]

But Alvarado did not pick up Lenin’s Imperialism or Mao’s Imperialism and All Reactionaries Are Paper Tigers, even though a Spanish version of the Chinese text had begun to circulate in Latin America a few months after the coup.[3] Instead, he turned to Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. In an essay published in Ecuador in 1955, Alvarado applauded Whitman’s commitment to “democratic and progressive ideas” even as he condemned Washington’s “empire of intimidation.” He cautioned against letting the Cold War and the nuclear arms race generate too much pessimism: “During this shadowy and shining moment, when there are new roads to destruction and death, there is also a bright horizon; it is imperative that we go back to lessons provided by the great North American poet and remember his prediction that the ‘sweetest songs remain yet to be sung.'”[4]

Alvarado’s embrace of Whitman at such a low moment was not a flight into romanticism, a solace sought by many a frustrated activist during moments of political reaction since at least the French Revolution. The coup did not diminish the Guatemalan refugee’s concern for the political world. Alvarado deepened his commitment to communist politics, becoming general secretary of the party in exile. His appeal to the values celebrated by Whitman reveals the suppleness of the idea “America,” just at a moment when heightened imperial conflict was reinforcing its equally pliable opposite: “anti-Americanism.”

Since the early nineteenth century, Latin American elites had shared with their North American counterparts the idea that “America” represented a renovating world force distinct from archaic Europe. Thomas Jefferson’s faith that the U.S. represented an “empire for liberty” resonated, however suspiciously, with Latin America’s independence leaders, who were among the first to celebrate the dynamic moderation of the United States’ revolutionary break from Great Britain against the excesses of the French and Haitian revolutions.[5] Among the most confident, “America” referred to the possibility of a larger, hemisphere-wide democratic imaginary. Such enthusiasm waned fast throughout the nineteenth century, overcome by Washington’s militarism and Wall Street’s increasing dominance of Latin American economies. Nationalists began to develop a vision of “two Americas,” a “Latin” America that for them was more faithful to the original vision of New World sovereignty and democracy than that advanced by the United States. For a brief but consequential moment in the 1930s and 1940s, American reformers, from both the U.S. and Latin America, redeemed the promise of “pan-Americanism” in the name of social democracy.[6] But this redemption was short-lived. After the CIA’s 1954 coup, the Cold War once again drove a wedge between the two Americas. For the next four decades, despite nominal support for the continent’s “democratic left,” the U.S. would align with the most illiberal and revanchist forces in the hemisphere. In fact, the most passionate defenders of liberalization and democracy were likely to be found in the ranks of Washington’s opponents—and to be singled out for elimination by Washington’s allies. In order to check the power of an increasingly militant nationalism, the U.S., following the costly Korean War, funded and trained domestic intelligence agencies throughout the continent, which, over the course of three decades, executed hundreds of thousands of Latin Americans—including Alvarado, who, having covertly returned to Guatemala, was murdered by security forces in 1971—tortured untold thousands more, and drove millions into exile.[7]

In turning to Leaves of Grass to make sense of the coup, Alvarado followed earlier writers who, since the Cuban revolutionary José Martí introduced Whitman to Latin American readers in 1887, had invoked the poet to highlight Washington’s hypocrisy and rhetorically temper its aggression. “The voice that would reach you, Hunter,” Nicaragua’s Ruben Darío wrote to Theodore Roosevelt in 1905, “must speak in Biblical tones, or in the poetry of Walt Whitman.”[8] For many Latin American nationalists, Whitman embodied an alternative “America,” and they sensed in him, even before Spanish translations of his poetry were widely available, the possibility of, as Alvarado put it, a “democratic and progressive” America, one in which the nation’s universal promise was not shackled to Washington’s ambitions. After attending one of Whitman’s last public appearances in New York in 1887, Martí, himself an anti-imperialist, lauded the North American’s ability to join “reason to grace,” pronouncing him an “heir to the world” who wore his legacy lightly. Whitman’s promiscuous use of Spanish words such as libertad, americanos, and camarada, Martí felt, suggested an inclusive and diverse Americanism. The Cuban also identified with Whitman’s prose rebellion against “coy lyrics” that whispered of courtly love, believing that it captured the energy of a “new humanity congregated on a fertile continent … the renewal of mankind.”[9] More than sixty years later, in 1948, the Brazilian scholar Gilberto Freyre made much the same point: “Whitman’s Americanism always aimed at universal man … he obviously could not conceive of ‘universal man’ reduced to a caricature of American man.”[10]

Yet 1948 was the last year that such an argument could be made.[11] Even before the CIA’s 1954 Guatemalan coup, the increasingly heavy hand of the United States in hemispheric and world affairs reawakened anti-imperialist resentment that had lain dormant during the Good Neighbor Policy and the wartime popular front. Whitman once again became a voice of disillusionment. In 1952, the Dominican Pedro Mir lamented the conscription of the poet’s radical exuberance into a resurgent militarism: “The ones who defiled his luminous beard and put a gun on his shoulders … Those of you who do not want Walt Whitman, the democrat, but another Whitman, atomic and savage.”[12] Two years after the overthrow of Arbenz, Mexico’s Octavio Paz went further, declaring that it was not universalism that had nourished Whitman’s democratic vision but a singular exclusionary belief that the United States, and by extension the idea of America, stood outside of history:

America was—if it was anything—geography, pure space, open to human action … And where there was an historical obstacle—for example, the indigenous societies—it was erased from history, reduced to a mere natural fact and dealt with accordingly … Everything that in some way is irreducible or inassimilable is not American. In other places the future is one of man’s attributes: because we are men, we have a future; in the Saxon America of the last century, the process is reversed and the future determines the man: we are men because we are the future. Anyone who has no future is not a man. This kind of reality offers no room for contradiction, ambiguity, or conflict … America dreams itself in Whitman because America itself is a dream, pure creation. Before and after Whitman we have had other poetic dreams. All of them—be the dreamer named Poe or Darío, Melville or Dickinson—are really attempts to escape from the American nightmare.[13]

Nearly all who write on “anti-Americanism” confess to finding it difficult to come up with a proper definition of the term. Yet Paz’s formulation—anything “irreducible or inassimilable” to American universalism—is better than most.[14] As it was leveled during the Cold War and is being used again today in its current post-9/11 revival, the charge “anti-American” often assumes a harmonization of the society, polity, and culture of the United States with capitalist modernity. Anti-Americanism is nothing less than the “rejection of Western society itself and its values,” or so said U.S. Ambassador to West Germany Arthur Burns in 1984.[15] In 2003, the French writer Jean-François Revel expressed his belief that the “principal function of anti-Americanism has always been, and still is, to discredit liberalism by discrediting its supreme incarnation.”[16] Identifying the United States as the apex of liberalism, or the “true end product of the liberal grand design,” as Stephen Haseler does in his The Varieties of Anti-Americanism, makes it easy to dispatch any criticisms of Washington’s policies as a “repudiation of liberal democratic capitalism and its attendant values.”[17] “Anti-American” becomes an omnibus accusation, as capacious as the term “American” and used to describe diverse oppositional sentiments and actions as pathological reactions to the modern world. Even attempts to come to terms with “anti-Americanism” that are critical of U.S. policies often tend to leave such conceits unexamined and to ignore the production of the category itself.[18]

In his essay on Whitman, Alvarado wrote that “to be universal, one has to be from somewhere.”[19] The same can be said about the indictment “anti-American.” Before the adjective was applied globally, it was worked out locally, largely through the long course of inter-American relations.[20] Throughout most of the nineteenth century, the concept “anti-American” generally served as the claim of imperial rivalry and high politics.[21] The press infrequently deployed the term, using it almost exclusively as a descriptive category to refer to European tariffs placed on U.S. agricultural and manufacturing products. Throughout the early twentieth century, commentators broadened the definition of “anti-American” to cover the escalating opposition to American power, opposition that increasingly took the form either of insurgents fighting U.S. occupying forces—in the Philippines, Haiti, and Nicaragua, for instance—or of violence, vandalism, and labor militancy targeted against U.S. economic interests, in places such as Mexico, Colombia, and Bolivia.[22] As Washington justified its growing global ambitions in ever more idealist, even pious, terms, the phrase began to take on normative meaning, signaling not just resistance to the expanding military and economic reach of the United States but hostility to the values that sanctioned that expansion. After World War II, this reorientation of the phrase both repeated and accelerated.

During the early Cold War years, policy analysts used “anti-Americanism” to refer to either official Soviet propaganda or perceived elite European contempt. Yet as superpower conflict overlapped with decolonization movements, commentators once again refurbished the concept to explain grassroots opposition to specific U.S. policies and to the country’s growing power more generally. The first serious manifestations of challenges to the United States’ postwar authority—Vice-President Richard Nixon’s disastrous 1958 visit to Venezuela, where he was spit on, stoned, and nearly killed, and the 1959 Cuban Revolution—were explicitly directed at Washington’s support for long-standing dictatorships in those countries. That Latin American critics, especially during the early Cold War, were not repudiating liberal democracy and its attendant values but rather were mobilizing in their defense, challenging the U.S. largely from the standpoint of the ideals that it claimed to defend, created a serious crisis of legitimacy for Washington’s authority. In response, policy elites, scholars, and pundits began to marshal the concept of “anti-Americanism,” drawing on ideas associated with psychology and psychoanalysis—resentment, fear, and ambivalence—to argue that eruptions in Venezuela, Cuba, and elsewhere sprang from the dislocation and uncertainty caused by the transition to modernity, from the move from ordered, patriarchal societies to plural, economically open polities. They forged “anti-Americanism” into a malleable interpretive lens, using the concept as an organizing device that linked Latin America’s revolutionary nationalist movements to a general perception that the “third world” was in revolt.[23]

What is often taken for anti-Americanism in Latin America is, in fact, a competing variation of Americanism. During the first century of independence from Spain, Latin American intellectuals and politicians developed a nationalism that was at once particular—acutely attached to a specific national and regional place—and universal—a belief that the Americas represented an exceptional opportunity to fulfill the promise of the modern world. That modern world was inescapably defined in relation to the rise of U.S. power in all of its expressions, leading nationalists to adopt a defensive posture. But even when disapproval of Washington was expressed in a cultural idiom, opposition to the U.S. rarely, if ever, yielded to the politics of reaction and tradition: it was, after all, the anti-imperialist Darío who had both coined the phrase and helped pioneer the literary form “modernismo” in the 1890s to declare independence from baroque Spanish constraints.[24] Dissidents rarely defined themselves as “anti-American”; they tended to use the terms “anti-interventionist,” “anti-Yankee,” and, increasingly after 1898, “anti-imperialist.”[25] “Yankee” embodied both the antithesis and the betrayal of the universal American: “They would concentrate the universe in themselves,” complained the Chilean writer Francisco Bilbao in 1856, in the wake of the Mexican-American War and William Walker’s invasion of Nicaragua. The birth of the United States “caused rejoicing on the part of sorrowing humanity … and provided a field of utopia … free lands for free souls”; yet within a generation, Bilbao said regretfully, the “Yankee has replace[d] the American; Roman patriotism, philosophy; … and self-interest, justice.”[26]

Through the nineteenth and into the early twentieth century, literary nationalists from every Latin American country produced an impassioned, lyrical body of work that censured Washington for not matching its actions to its ideals. Writers such as Brazil’s Eduardo Prado, Mexico’s Isidro Fabela, Venezuela’s Rufino Blanco-Fombona, Bolivia’s Franz Tamayo, Cuba’s José María Céspedes, Guatemala’s Máximo Soto Hall, and Colombia’s José María Vargas Vila freely blended the Rousseauian tradition of Enlightenment liberalism with a diffuse Spanish Catholic antipathy toward Anglo-Protestant “individualism.” They contrasted what they imagined to be the utilitarian, alienated, sterile, cunning, instrumental United States, driven by brute political and economic power, with the more authentic, humanist, aesthetic, and spiritual republics of Latin America. “And though,” wrote Darío to Theodore Roosevelt, “you have everything, you are lacking one thing: God.”[27] In 1900, Uruguay’s José Enrique Rodó captured this critique in arresting imagery in Ariel, a book that cast the U.S. as the grubbing Caliban and Latin America as the sublime Ariel.[28]

A color line increasingly marked the border between the two Americas: in the nineteenth century, the endurance of slavery in the U.S. well past the time when most Latin American countries had abolished forced labor and introduced universal suffrage, followed by the institutionalization of Jim Crow, further discredited Washington in the eyes of many Latin American liberals and nationalists.[29] The growing presence of Anglo settlers and troops in the North American Southwest, the Caribbean, and Central America, many of whom brought with them racist institutions and attitudes, further highlighted the breach between ideal and practice.[30] In the twentieth century, anti-imperialist activists such as Nicaragua’s Augusto Sandino and Peru’s Víctor Raúl Haya de la Torre democratized and racialized the antimony developed by Rodó and others, arguing that Latin America constituted a unique “Indo-American race” distinct from Anglo-Saxon America: they offered a popular patriotism that Latin America’s majority poor could sympathize with, one that superseded elite nationalism by valorizing the dark-skinned, impoverished peasant culture that prevailed throughout Mesoamerica and much of South America.[31] Every new confirmation of Anglo aggression—the Texas secession, the Mexican-American War, Walker’s invasion of Nicaragua, the Spanish-American War, the annexation of Puerto Rico and the Philippines, the 1902 creation of Panama, the Platt Amendment, Roosevelt’s Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine, brief occupations of Mexico and Cuba followed by longer stays in Haiti, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic—provoked a new Latin American reprimand.[32]

In the early twentieth century, criticism of the United States, sharpened through Marxist theory, gained political momentum with the growth of communist, socialist, and nationalist political parties, and connected both with domestic guerrilla insurgencies and internationalist movements.[33] As corporations and banks steadily replaced gunboats as the main agent and symbol of U.S. power (although Marines continued to be a provocative presence in the Caribbean and Central America through the 1930s), the florid allegorical opposition to the United States of the previous century was supplemented by two new forms: First, Latin American critics began to focus on the economic dimensions of U.S. power. “Modern conquests,” the Argentine Manuel Ugarte wrote in 1920, “differ from earlier ones in that they are achieved through political means, without the use of arms. Material usurpation results from a long period of infiltration or hegemony that slowly wears down national defenses … In considering the Yankee threat, we shouldn’t see a brutal aggression but the slow work of subterranean invasions and gradual conquests.”[34] Ugarte was from Argentina, a country that into the twentieth century had found itself fettered to London’s financial houses, which perhaps accounts for his focus on the informality of empire. Closer north, Central American and Caribbean writers provided more animated exposés of imperialism, combining economic analyses with graphic descriptions of military conquest and brutal forms of capital accumulation. “Where does Wall Street begin and where does it end?” asked former Guatemalan president Juan José Arévalo after the CIA’s 1954 operation, capturing the omnipresent nature of U.S. financial power; the question, though, appears in a book whose title leaves little to the imagination about the brute force that makes such elusive ubiquity possible: The Shark and the Sardines.[35] Second, Latin American writers began to chronicle the indignities and violence (especially repression directed at labor movements) of everyday life under the growing influence of U.S. corporations, as it was experienced in mining or agricultural company towns, in the shadow of U.S. consumer culture, or in cities where electricity, transportation, and finance were controlled from abroad. In Chile in 1904, Baldomero Lillo, the son of a mine foreman, published a volume of short stories that captured the miseries of miners, including their abuses at the hands of one “Mister Davis,” the first of many unsympathetic “misters” who would populate twentieth-century social and magical realist prose. (When Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez taunted George W. Bush at the 2005 Summit of the Americas by repeatedly referring to him as “Mister Danger,” he was referencing a character from Doña Bárbara, a 1929 novel by the Venezuelan writer and politician Rómulo Gallegos: a blue-eyed, pink-faced, land-grabbing, “scornful foreigner.”)[36]

By the late 1920s, mounting opposition had made U.S. policy in Latin America untenable, particularly in the Caribbean and Central America. Throughout the first decades of the twentieth century, there was an increase in peasant and working-class violence directed at U.S.-owned plantations, factories, and mines, particularly in Colombia, Mexico, Bolivia, Venezuela, and Nicaragua.[37] As part of the “Republican Restoration,” the Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover administrations tried to shift foreign policy away from the “protective imperialism,” as Samuel Flagg Bemis put it, of their predecessors, but they inherited violent occupations of Haiti and the Dominican Republic and found themselves informally administering Cuba under the auspices of the Platt Amendment.[38] In Nicaragua, a protracted guerrilla war waged by Augusto Sandino against U.S. Marines concentrated scattered opposition to Washington into a focused movement, one with widespread intellectual and political support, both in the Americas and beyond.[39]

The most vocal criticism of the United States came from nongovernmental intellectuals and activists, yet Sandino’s war roused official efforts to obtain from the U.S. a commitment of nonintervention in Latin America’s domestic politics. Just prior to the Sixth Pan-American Conference, held in Havana in early 1928, Sandino scored a series of impressive military victories against the U.S., and Latin American delegates took the opportunity to launch a barrage of criticism. The gallery audience applauded each recounting of old and new grievances and hissed at the attempts by U.S. envoy Charles E. Hughes, former secretary of state, to defend Washington’s policy.[40] Sandino was not directly mentioned, yet Latin American newspapers nonetheless reported the diplomacy in light of the fighting in Nicaragua. “The high-sounding declarations heard in Havana do not serve to erase the inexcusable acts committed in Central America, which still weigh overwhelmingly and paralyze real pan-Americanism,” wrote the Buenos Aires La Nación; “as long as intervention is an accomplished fact in Nicaragua, the policies of the United States will seem ambiguous and detrimental to its international good name.” Another Argentine newspaper declared that “United States intervention in Nicaragua was far worse and more unjust than was Belgium’s invasion by Germany in 1914,” while a Uruguayan daily warned that the “Nicaraguan muddle is really the death-knell of the pan-American ideal.”[41]

The Havana conference, in fact, did signal the beginning of a reorientation of U.S. policy toward Latin America, which would come full circle following Franklin D. Roosevelt’s election.[42] Owing in no small part to the anger that Sandino’s insurgency provoked throughout the Americas, there emerged a new thinking among foreign policy and business leaders that Washington could no longer afford to play catch-up diplomacy and waste its time responding to one emergency after another either caused or inflamed by direct military interventions.[43] Adolf Berle, a prominent member of FDR’s brain trust, understood this new dispensation as imperialism—he had no problem with the word “empire,” believing that “neither great nor small powers have free choice in the matter.”[44] Corporate reformers likewise counseled change. After witnessing firsthand widespread poverty and labor unrest in Venezuela, Bolivia, and Mexico during a 1937 tour of Latin America, Nelson Rockefeller lectured his peers that “we must recognize the social responsibilities of corporations and the corporation must use its ownership of assets to reflect the best interest of the people.” “If we don’t,” warned Rockefeller, who would go on to play a central role in shaping Washington’s postwar Latin American policy, “they will take away our ownership.”[45] Throughout the 1930s, the U.S. withdrew troops from Nicaragua and Haiti, abrogated the Platt Amendment in Cuba’s constitution, abandoned a series of treaties that gave it special rights in a host of Central American countries, allowed Haiti to retake control of its national bank, occasionally backed Latin American nationalists in the struggle with U.S. corporations, and eventually committed to a precedent-setting policy of absolute nonintervention.

Roosevelt’s acceptance of hemispheric pluralism—”your Americanism and mine,” as he put it in his address to the Pan-American Union a few months after taking office—allowed Latin American politicians to once again embrace New World purpose: “America … for humanity,” proclaimed Panamanian president Juan Demóstenes Arosemena in 1939 in his speech to a gathering of American foreign ministers called to declare a united policy of neutrality (the first step in cutting Nazi Germany off from Latin America) at the start of World War II.[46]

FDR’s Good Neighbor Policy, while initially designed to douse the fires sparked by decades of U.S. militarism and corporate rapaciousness, was also influenced by an often unacknowledged source: Latin America’s evolving tradition of social democracy and liberal internationalism. The roots of this tradition are deep, stretching back to a late-eighteenth- and nineteenth-century rights tradition that synthesized Anglo and French Enlightenment thought to exalt both individual freedom and a virtuous society.[47] Likewise, Catholic humanism, influenced by the Thomist school of rational natural law, injected into Latin American political liberalism a commitment to social solidarity and conscientiousness.[48] This humane intellectual current, though, developed in the teeth of severe exploitation, hierarchy, and exclusion, and it took a series of violent social revolutions, most notably in nineteenth-century Cuba and early-twentieth-century Mexico, before it was reflected in legal doctrine. Mexico’s 1917 constitution, for example, adopted after seven years of nearly continuous warfare, became the model for subsequent Latin American charters and prefigured similar social democratic constitutions put into place decades later in India and Europe. It affirmed personal liberties common to the Anglo-American legal tradition, while guaranteeing a wide array of social and economic rights, including the right to education. The constitution laid out a progressive labor code that regulated working conditions, prohibited child labor, granted the right to form unions and conduct strikes, and mandated worker health care, pensions, and unemployment and accident insurance. Understanding that these protections could not be achieved without some social control over the economy, the charter allowed for the expropriation of industries and large estates, which, when implemented in the 1930s, became the basis for an extensive agrarian reform and industrialization.

The 1920s and 1930s, though, were an inauspicious period for implementing democratic ideas in Latin America. Reformers had little room to maneuver, as post–World War I liberalization gave way to a series of authoritarian regimes. So political liberals focused outward, on reforming the interstate system. What became the backbone of the Good Neighbor Policy—the policy and principle of nonintervention in both the domestic and foreign affairs of sovereign nations—was much more than a sudden reflex on the part of Washington in response to a constricted global economy and political pressure from Latin American nationalists. It represented the central plank in a long-evolving effort by Latin American jurists to remake the philosophical foundations of international law.

As the center of continental political and economic gravity, rivaling Washington’s hemispheric leadership while at the same time trying to shake free of London’s financial shackles, Argentina took the lead in this effort. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, its jurists advanced legal precedents that restricted the right of European nations to collect debts through military means.[49] Washington tentatively supported these moves, viewing them as useful in rolling back Great Britain’s influence. But the United States refused to give up the right, which it claimed under universal international law, to intervene militarily when it deemed that its nationals were unduly denied justice or when a state acted irresponsibly. “Let us face the facts,” said Secretary of State Hughes at the 1928 Havana conference; “the difficulty … in any one of the American Republics, is not of any external aggression. It is an internal difficulty … What are we going to do when government breaks down and American citizens are in danger of their lives? … Now it is a principle of international law that in such a case a government is fully justified in taking action.”[50]

In response, Latin American legal theorists, in communication with liberal internationalists in the United States, began well before the establishment of the League of Nations or the codification of much international law to challenge the very principles that underwrote Great Power diplomacy. The most famous of those jurists, the Chilean Alejandro Alvarez, began to advocate for what he called “American International Law.” In place of the excessive “individualism” implied in the notion of state sovereignty, Alvarez and others began to insist that nations recognize the importance and legitimacy of values such as interdependence, cooperation, and solidarity in international relations. Alvarez was a firm believer in American exceptionalism, arguing that the common experience of the Americas—constitutional, republican, liberal, democratic, egalitarian, founded on the ideal of popular suffrage—provided a unique opportunity to forge a new system of hemispheric governance, one built on multilateral cooperation and mutual dependence.[51] Of course, the ideal of absolute nonintervention, based as it was on the principle of sovereignty, contradicted the notion of interdependence. Latin American jurists resolved this contradiction by proposing the establishment of pan-American institutions that could mediate conflicts among American nations, as opposed to mandated arbitration at the Hague, which, they argued, was biased toward European and U.S. interests. With the financial support of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Alvarez founded the American Institute of International Law in 1911, establishing franchises in each of America’s twenty-one republics. The institute, along with a series of ad hoc pan-American committees, advocated not just for the codification of international law but for “judicial progress,” that is, for the creation of new precedents that would legitimate the principles of “American International Law.”[52]

Washington largely opposed these efforts. Not wanting to give up the right to intervention or to be tied down by Lilliputian regional restraints, its representatives objected to legal innovation as well as the notion of American exceptionalism: “There can no more be an American international law,” argued William Henry Trescot, the U.S. representative to the 1889 Pan-American Conference, “than there can be an English, a German, or a Prussian international law. International law has an old and settled meaning. It is the common law of the civilized world, and was in active recognized and continuous force long before any of the now established American nations had an independent existence.”[53]

Alvarez equivocated on whether American law was distinct from international law. But his peer diplomats had more than hemispheric ambitions: in September 1932, Foreign Minister Carlos Saavedra Lamas of Argentina invited the nations of the world to sign an “Anti-War Treaty on Non-Aggression and Conciliation,” which, Saavedra Lamas believed, would “doubtless mark a new step in the juridical evolution of the world.”[54] Building on the momentum generated by other recently signed international peace and arbitration agreements—the League of Nations Covenant, the Hague Conventions, and the Briand-Kellogg Pact—the Argentine treaty crystallized many of the doctrines long advocated by Latin American jurists, particularly the absolute prohibition of “intervention either diplomatic or armed.” By presenting it to the world for ratification (the official version of the treaty omitted the prefix “South American,” with a footnote explaining that the phrase was meant to express only the “source” of the treaty’s “inspiration,” and not to imply any regional specificity), the Argentine minister did an end run around Washington’s insistence that the right to unilateral intervention was enshrined in international law. By the start of the Seventh Pan-American Conference, which took place in Montevideo in October 1933, Saavedra Lamas had obtained the signatures of six Latin American countries on the treaty, thus presenting the convention not as an agenda item but as a fait accompli. In Montevideo, Washington not only signed Saavedra Lamas’s nonintervention convention but conceded a raft of other long-sought demands, thus institutionalizing FDR’s Good Neighbor Policy. However instrumental and, at times, nominal Washington’s about-face was, it did open the way for a decade of unparalleled hemispheric cooperation, binding the Americas together with a series of political, economic, military, and cultural treaties and the creation of an assortment of inter-American institutions, organizations, bodies of arbitration, and mechanisms for consultation and joint action in the case of an extra-hemispheric threat.[55]

Refracted through their firsthand experience of U.S. expansion, the destruction that took place during the two world wars confirmed the belief of Latin American jurists that the international order needed to be remade. “Public opinion to-day demands that after the war there be a reconstruction, on new and more solid foundations, of political life, of economic life, and especially of international life,” said Alvarez during a 1916 lecture tour of U.S. universities, a sentiment that would be echoed in arguments he made in 1942.[56] His hope was premature in the first instance, but after World War II, Latin American diplomats and legal theorists did play an influential role in the construction of the postwar order. Dropping the adjective “American,” they produced a large body of work that advanced the reorientation of international law away from power politics toward the recognition of multilateral “interdependence” in pursuit of social welfare and peace.[57] “All that harmonizes with human solidarity is just, all that contradicts it is unjust,” wrote Colombia’s Edgardo Manotas Wilches in 1948.[58] Brazil’s Jorge Americano argued that the purpose of international law should be to guarantee the rights elaborated by FDR in his “Four Freedoms” speech, finding the foundation of an international social democratic order in its “freedom from want” plank.[59]

Having brought with them their long experience of pan-American diplomacy and encouraged by their experience of wartime cooperation with the U.S., a number of these diplomats conveyed in their memoirs an unbridled confidence in their ability to create a new global community of peaceful, stable nations.[60] The majority of Latin America’s twenty-one representatives who gathered in San Francisco in 1945 to found the United Nations—nearly half the total delegates, and the largest single regional caucus—willingly allowed themselves to be organized into a voting bloc by Nelson Rockefeller, then the assistant secretary of state for Latin America, providing key support to Washington’s vision for the structure and purpose of the new body.[61] But they also pressed their own concerns, forcing the UN to confront directly the issue of colonial racism and to adopt a human rights policy. Chile and Panama supplied draft charters on which the new institution modeled its Universal Declaration of Human Rights, while Latin American representatives successfully pushed for the charter to include social and economic rights—to social security, to work, to an adequate standard of living, to participation in trade unions, to rest and leisure time, to food, clothing, housing, and health care, and to free education—as well as for a provision treating men and women as equals.

For his part, Roosevelt, as the world war wound down, held up the “illustration of the Republics of this continent” as a model for postwar reconstruction. “In 1933 there were many times twenty-one different kinds of hate,” he wrote, taking credit for selling Latin Americans on the “idea of peace without hate.”[62] Yet more than just providing a “showcase” for peaceful diplomacy, as the U.S. ambassador to Germany described American affairs, the consolidation of cooperative relations in the Western Hemisphere allowed Washington to project New World power back to the Old.[63]

First, a formal renunciation of the right to intervention allowed Washington to formalize its hemispheric authority without the burden of militarism or direct colonial administration, binding the Americas together in a series of political, economic, military, and cultural treaties and the creation of an assortment of multilateral institutions, bodies of arbitration, and mechanisms for consultation and joint action in the case of an extra-hemispheric threat. Second, the withdrawal of troops from the Caribbean, the renegotiation of treaties, and the increased tolerance of economic nationalism gave Roosevelt a better claim to legitimacy as he advocated for an end to colonialism and militarism elsewhere. Bemis writes that it “seems most plausible” that Roosevelt’s precocious appeal in May 1933 for the nations of the world to enter into a nonaggression pact was an attempt to steal Saavedra Lamas’s “thunder and roll it around the globe in Rooseveltian reverberations,” since the “immediate effect of his appeal was to place the United States and its President, rather than Argentina and her Foreign Minister, before the people of both hemispheres as the champion of Nonintervention.”[64] Roosevelt’s popularity in Latin America—especially following his 1936 visit to Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, and Montevideo, where he was greeted by audiences of hundreds of thousands of cheering admirers, with the usually skeptical Argentine press heralding him as a “shepherd of democracy”—steeled his aspirations to world leadership.[65]

Third, improved relations with Latin America likewise helped the United States recover from the contractions of the Great Depression. With Asia increasingly off limits and Europe headed for war, Washington looked to the south for economic relief, both as a market for manufactured goods and as a source of raw material. Empowered by the 1934 Trade Agreement Act, which gave FDR fast-track authority to lower targeted tariffs by as much as 50 percent, Washington negotiated trade treaties with fifteen Latin American countries between 1934 and 1942.[66] The U.S. trade deficit with Latin America as a whole fell from $142 million in 1931 to just over $13 million in 1939; it soon after entered into the black, where it remains to this day.

Finally, the inter-American alliance system allowed Washington to undercut the authority of the new United Nations, helping to create what one historian has described as a “closed hemisphere” in an ever more “Open World.”[67] Even as Harry Truman’s envoys were working with delegates from around the world to create the structure and define the purpose of the UN, the United States was negotiating a mutual defense treaty with Latin America, empowering signatory nations to act collectively against outside aggression. Critics charged that the new military pact, formalized in Rio de Janeiro in 1947, served as a thin veil for the resurrection of the Monroe Doctrine and would once again open the door to U.S. military intervention. Furthermore, by providing a precedent for the creation of a regional organization bound by its own set of rules and procedures outside of UN oversight, the Rio Pact, as the treaty was called, paved the way for both sides in the emerging Cold War to formalize their respective spheres of influence. NATO, for example, was modeled directly on the Rio Pact, as was the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization.

The irony is obvious: it took decades of “anti-Americanism” to force Washington to accept a framework of international relations that it then used in the second half of the century to attain unprecedented global power; in the exercise of that power, the U.S. came to rely on the kind of “American exceptionalism” advocated by Latin American jurists—which Washington had long rejected for fear of having to limit its actions—to consolidate spheres of influence in an increasingly open and interdependent world.[68]

After World War II, Washington extended the ideas and institutions it had adopted in the Western Hemisphere elsewhere, to Europe and East Asia, allowing the U.S. to accumulate considerable “soft power,” to solidify its authority and establish its leadership in the emerging Cold War, and to become an “empire by invitation.”[69] Back in Latin America, however, it quickly moved toward rehabilitating militarism. Leaving behind the gunboats and Marine occupations that had marked the end of the nineteenth and the early twentieth centuries, though, Washington now was able to use the close ties to the region’s security forces that it had established during the war to cloak its “hard power” behind allied dictators, military regimes, and, beginning in the mid-1960s, death squads.

Nearly as soon as World War II ended, the State Department had begun to signal that its support for democracy, which after the Allied defeat of fascism had taken fragile hold throughout the continent, was contingent on political stability. In 1945, U.S. Ambassador to Brazil Adolf Berle had already moved against President Getúlio Vargas, facilitating his overthrow. In 1948, the U.S. tacitly backed the ousting of Venezuelan president Rómulo Gallegos, the novelist who created the character of Mister Danger; elected the previous year in the country’s first truly free elections, Gallegos had promised to implement a program of social democratic reforms. Support for dictators—such as Marcos Pérez Jiménez, who ruled Venezuela for ten years after overthrowing Gallegos, or Nicaragua’s Anastasio Somoza, who executed Sandino and seized power after the Marines withdrew—was no longer understood as the unwanted consequence of the principle of nonintervention. As a backstop against subversion, such support was now understood to be the centerpiece of U.S. policy toward Latin America: because of a “growing awareness of Soviet Russia’s aggressive policy,” wrote the State Department’s Division of the American Republics, the United States has now “swung back toward a policy of general cooperation [with dictators] that gives only secondary importance to the degree of democracy manifested by [Latin America’s] respective governments.”[70] By the early 1950s, however, Washington found it increasingly difficult merely to support strongmen from the sidelines. The frustration of postwar democracy combined with stepped-up political repression led not to stability but rather to a climate of crisis in one country after another. The U.S., wrote Thomas Mann, Eisenhower’s assistant secretary of state for inter-American affairs, in 1952, would need to take the lead in efforts to “arrest the development of irresponsibility and extreme nationalism.”[71] The first “arrest,” as it were, carried out directly by the U.S. came two years later, with the CIA’s Guatemalan coup. It was an event that polarized continental politics even further, producing a generation of political activists who identified the United States not as a model but as an obstacle to reform. America, as Octavio Paz would point out two years later, could no longer find itself in the idylls of Whitman; it was now in the fever dreams of Poe and Melville.

It was in this cauldron of continental American politics, with the definition of democracy up for grabs, that the concept “anti-Americanism” began to take on the explanatory weight it carries to this day. In September 1954, the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences published a symposium, America through Foreign Eyes, presenting research mostly conducted under the auspices of the Social Science Research Council and the Rockefeller and Ford foundations.[72] The struggle between liberal democracy and Soviet communism had long been understood to be one of ideas, yet the spread of post–World War II mass movements pursuing, separately or in concert, decolonization and economic justice made popular opinion an increasingly urgent foreign policy concern.[73] The volume gave considerable attention to the outlook of students and common folk in Mexico, a country deemed to be “mid-passage” on the road to modernization, and India, a nation still “apprehensive of final commitment in the East-West struggle.”[74] Applying methodology drawn from social psychology research into how individuals develop negative racial and ethnic stereotypes, the symposium’s introduction analyzed data culled from UNESCO’s pioneering 1948 word-list foreign survey to craft an interpretive framework that would become commonplace in subsequent attempts to assess foreign attitudes: “From Shylock to Stepin Fetchit … stereotyped national, racial, and class types have drawn such ready applause that we must conclude that stereotyping meets a psychological need, probably that of ego inflation.” Stereotypes, the volume argued, comprise two components: the first is “preconception,” which is formed in a child’s psyche from scattered cultural referents; the second is “perception,” or the meaning and purpose given to one’s attempts to use those referents to organize “the incomprehensible, unpredictable behavior of foreigners—particularly those actions which he thinks may affect him personally—into a comprehensible whole.” To bridge the gap between perception and reality, the introduction counseled that the U.S. should be more sensitive to foreign beliefs, and should not be quick to “leap to the conclusion that all images of Americans held abroad are foolish, fanciful, and unjustified.” It also advocated for maintaining clear channels of communication and conducting diplomacy as “straightforwardly as possible so that our policies, even when they must be unpalatable abroad, could at least be consistent and predictable.”[75]

Just a few months prior to the symposium, though, the CIA’s nearly year-long operation against Arbenz represented a different yet no less psychologically driven approach to dealing with foreign opinion. It was the agency’s most ambitious action to date, far more comprehensive than anything it had done in the six weeks it took to topple Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh of Iran the year earlier. The CIA mobilized not just political, economic, and military power, but innovative techniques borrowed from Madison Avenue, Hollywood, and new behavioral social sciences to manipulate public opinion. Operatives mined pop sociologies such as Robert Maurer’s The Big Con (1940) and Paul Linebarger’s Psychological Warfare (1948), and worked closely with Edward Bernays, a pioneer in public propaganda (and Sigmund Freud’s nephew!), to develop disinformation tactics.[76] They planted stories in the Guatemalan and U.S. press, transmitted radio shows into the country to make it seem that a widespread underground resistance movement was gaining strength, spread rumors, engineered death threats, and conducted sabotage—all designed to erode revolutionary solidarity and generate opposition. Yet for all the expressed concern at the time with providing an ideological alternative to communism, the CIA rejected the advice of its Guatemalan allies that it include in the campaign a positive educational component, instead insisting on pursuing a strategy to inspire fear more than virtue.

Propaganda designed to “attack the theoretical foundations of the enemy” was misplaced; the point, the head of operations wrote in March 1954, was “to (1) intensify anti-Communist, anti-government sentiment and create a disposition to act; and (2) create dissension, confusion, and FEAR in the enemy camp.” Psychological efforts should be directed at the “heart, the stomach and the liver (fear).”[77] “We are not running a popularity contest but an uprising,” rejoined one agent to Guatemalan concerns that the campaign was too negative. U.S. planes flew low over the capital, dropping propaganda material, which for a region that had not seen aerial warfare since the Marine campaign against Sandino sent a message beyond what was printed on the flyers. “I suppose it doesn’t really matter what the leaflets say,” said Tracy Barnes, the CIA operative who led the operation.[78] The “most effective leaflet drops,” concluded an agency postmortem of the coup, “were those followed by a successful military blow.”[79] Such blows were delivered by CIA assets in-country, who bombed roads, bridges, military installations, and property owned by government supporters. The agency distributed sabotage manuals that provided illustrated, step-by-step instructions on how to make pipe bombs, time bombs, remote fuses, chemical, nitroglycerine, and dynamite bombs, even explosives hidden in pens, books, and rocks. The how-to guide exhorted Guatemalans to take up violence in the name of liberty, noting that “sabotage, like all things in life, is good or bad depending on whether its objective is good or bad.”[80] Such terror worked. Arbenz fell not because psych ops had won the “hearts and minds” of the population but because the military refused to defend him, fearing Washington’s wrath if it repelled the mercenaries.

In the ensuing decades, the tension that existed between the symposium’s contemplative, even solicitous, interpretation of foreign opinion and the CIA’s resolved, action-oriented crusade would give the accusation “anti-Americanism” its operative valence. While at first glance these two approaches would appear to represent opposite poles, they shared common motivating assumptions.

In the first instance, historical grievances and contemporary conflicts of interest are reduced to either the raw material that makes up an individual’s psyche (or a nation’s culture), misunderstandings, or misperceptions that could be remedied by better communication. As the Cold War shifted away from Europe toward the third world, social scientists, particularly those tied to the national security apparatus, furthered the translation of the concept “anti-American” into a psychological interpretive framework. Scholars associated with the new postwar behavioralist paradigm began to elaborate unified theories of human behavior, including behavior understood as hostile to the U.S., discounting the influence of ideas, ideology, values, and history, not to mention actual conflicting interests, as factors motivating dissent. In what amounted to a “shrinking agenda of complexity,” as historian Ron Robin put it in his 2001 survey of Cold War social science, they explained oppositional sentiment and action in terms of repression or trauma. Belief systems were interpreted not as cognitive frameworks but as rationalizations of behavioral routines. The more foreign and “inscrutable” the object of analysis, the more “intimate” and knowable it appeared, as “distinct people and events were translated into measurable ideal types,” with their behavior reduced to a common set of psychological tropes.[81] In the 1950s, both foreign policy officials and the press picked up on and amplified this inclination to understand dissent in terms of resentment. In 1952, for example, the New York Times described Mexican “anti-Americanism” in terms of “fear,” “envy,” and “pride.”[82] An essayist in the academy’s 1954 symposium wrote that Mexican intellectuals “resent” and “are jealous” of U.S. technological superiority.[83]

Economists and political scientists added to insights drawn from psychology by reporting that nations and social groups suffering the dislocation caused by modernization tend to criticize the United States as the agent of class and gender liberalization.[84] Nixon’s 1958 experience in Caracas, where he was greeted at the airport with a rain of spit, with his motorcade later surrounded by an angry crowd and stoned (Venezuela had just emerged from a ten-year, U.S.-backed Pérez Jiménez dictatorship, with Washington granting some of its worst torturers political asylum), hastened this propensity to pathologize politics: “this nationalism is anti-American for various reasons,” wrote one State Department official following the assault on Nixon, “most of them irrational and unjustified. The problem it poses is primarily a psychological one, not to be measured in financial terms nor answered in dollars.”[85] It also provoked soul-searching: George Allen, director of the United States Information Agency (USIA), urged the U.S. to “grow up psychologically” and to stop its “boast[ing] about our richness, our bigness, and our strength,” while Eisenhower urged U.S. commentators to be more attentive to the “injured feelings” of “other American Republics.”[86] In other words, against a global field of increasingly militant nationalist challenges, charges of “anti-Americanism” served both to deny historical and cultural diversity and to dismiss varied expressions of dissent as atavistic reactions to the contemporary world, thus affirming the U.S. as both the embodiment and the defender of a universal model of modernity: “Criticisms of or complaints about America,” wrote the Saturday Review in 1951, “are criticisms of the modern world.”[87]

In the second instance, the CIA’s use of fear as the exclusive basis of its campaign to overthrow Arbenz signaled another current of Cold War social science, one that would not become fully operational until the 1960s: the influence of rational choice and systems theory in counterinsurgent doctrine and practice. Rand Corporation analysts in internal war and insurgencies grew disillusioned with the prospects of defeating insurgencies through “constructive counterinsurgency,” that is, by transforming the psychological or cultural patterns associated with traditional societies and by winning hearts and minds through reforms designed to elevate living standards, as had been the received wisdom in the early years of the Vietnam War.[88] By the mid-1960s, experts such as Charles Wolf and Nathan Leites counseled against worrying too much about either the cultural “sympathies or preferences” of the insurgents or the root economic causes of rebellion. To do so would, at best, lead to despair in the face of the enormity of the task or, at worst, add fuel to the crisis. Instead, their advice was to treat insurgencies like an economic system and to work on increasing the costs of supporting political movements through “coercive counterinsurgency.”[89] Such inflation could be brought about by inflicting “pain and shock, loss and grief, privation and horror,” as Harvard economist Thomas Schelling put it in his 1966 Arms and Influence.[90] Supporters of insurgencies, this new approach argued, were basically rational actors, no matter the stage of their society’s development or the codes that structured their culture, and the struggle between authority and rebellion was in effect a “contest in the effective management of coercion.”[91]

The containment of revolutionary nationalism in Latin America depended on a blending of similar soft and hard approaches. As the hemisphere’s unrivaled military power, principal source of capital, dominant supplier of manufactured goods, and primary importer of raw material, U.S. private interests and government institutions exercised considerable persuasion in setting the permissible limits of political and cultural debate. During the Cold War, Washington-funded efforts to disseminate U.S. influence worked through USIA programs, Point Four and Agency for International Development assistance, and the activities of private organizations, such as the Rockefeller Foundation. Yet following the 1959 Cuban Revolution, foreign policy officials elevated “anti-Americanism” to an analytical category to interpret and respond to foreign threats throughout Latin America and the third world.[92] The Kennedy administration responded with a two-pronged approach.[93] On the one hand, it launched the Alliance for Progress, which aimed to promote economic modernization and closer cultural relations. On the other hand, it set out to invigorate Latin American militaries and centralized intelligence agencies. Unable to contain mass mobilizations through constitutional means, fortified security forces unleashed a hemisphere-wide, coordinated reign of terror.[94] In one country after another, dictatorships and paramilitaries allied with the United States, or, in the case of Nicaragua in the 1980s, counterinsurgents created and maintained by Washington, inflicted “pain and shock” to successful effect, as any number of truth commissions and books detailing the psychological effects of fear demonstrate.[95]

Repressive rational choice theory either contradicted or found useless many of the assumptions of previous psychological interpretations of human behavior that went into “hearts-and-minds” counterinsurgent doctrine—namely the belief that support for oppositional movements identified as “anti-American” was rooted in cultural or psychological pathways of tradition (indeed, starting in the mid-1960s, counterinsurgent strategy increasingly understood traditional culture to be an important bulwark against revolution).[96] Yet both models operated on, and reinforced, a shared univeralism.

Behavioralist approaches developed in the 1950s for analyzing foreign popular opinion reduced the complexity of political commitment and action into easily classifiable and treatable symptoms. By borrowing from approaches first employed to evaluate racial and ethnic stereotypes, social scientists explicitly equated antagonistic sentiments and actions toward the United States with racism, with the implication being that both would dissipate as the world moved toward a more tolerant liberal pluralism. This notion that the U.S. represented the “true end product of the liberal grand design” was reinforced by the proliferation of foreign opinion polling by UNESCO and USIA. One survey after another confirmed that U.S. values and lifestyles held great appeal for much of the world’s population, with commentators making much of the discrepancy between popular and working-class goodwill and elite hostility.[97] The gap between polling data and increasing displays of hostility created a dissonance that observers repeatedly reconciled with recourse to the most overworked concept used to explain opposition to the United States: “ambivalence.” “Latin American attitudes toward the US” were “ambivalent,” reported the 1958 National Intelligence Estimate: they expressed “envy by disparaging US materialism” yet wanted our consumer goods and capital; they espoused pan-Americanism but engaged in petty nationalism; they chafed at our military power but wanted our protection.[98] Such affirmations of national self-esteem folded nicely with subsequent rational choice doctrine: an overwhelming preponderance of power, often in the form of terror, would separate the common man and woman from their resentful leadership, erode irrational revolutionary nationalism, and force an acceptance of the modern world as defined and policed by the U.S.

“Come … I will make divine magnetic lands,” Whitman summoned, and many Latin Americans answered with an ideal of America no less purposeful than that advanced by Washington. Over the course of two centuries, it has not been clashing universalisms that served as the primary fault line between the two Americas, but how the expansion of the United States’ political and economic power fractured a shared sense of exceptionalism. It was the immanence of the critique of U.S. power—the fact that it appealed to shared values—that allowed the brief period of hemispheric cooperation during the mid-twentieth century to be so consequential. Latin American jurists argued that with the loss of Europe and Asia to totalitarianism, the Americas represented a bastion from which “democracy could be renovated and acquire an expansive force,” but only if democracy itself was socialized and the interdependency of individual states recognized.[99] Increasingly, though, after the war, such a vision once again created a “dilemma,” as Alan McPherson put it in his survey of Latin American anti-Americanism, one that pitted the “universalism of democracy against the exceptionalism of superpowerdom.”[100] What Louis Pérez argues for Cuba is true for much of Latin America during the Cold War: pushed to their “logical conclusion,” the democratic values both embodied and opposed by the United States created a crisis situation in nearly every country across the continent.[101]

Some now contend that today’s antagonism toward the United States represents not an immanent criticism but a clash between opposing values, a “conflict of visions,” as George W. Bush has described it.[102] That argument is debatable. But what is clear is that many of the same assumptions that defined the concept of Cold War “anti-Americanism” continue to frame the way enmity to the U.S. is interpreted. Rather than a response to any specific policy, “anti-Americanism,” believes sociologist Paul Hollander, represents a psychological “need to find some clear-cut and morally satisfying explanation for a wide range of unwelcome circumstances associated with either actual states or feelings of backwardness, inferiority, weakness, diminished competitiveness or a loss of coherence and stability in the life of a nation, a group or individual.”[103] Yet in Latin America, what made “anti-Americanism” so effective an organizing concept was the real concessions that Washington was at times forced to make to political and economic nationalists. Now, though, the charge seems to be drained of content, representing little but the more coercive face of U.S. power. Counterinsurgent theorists have recycled repressive rational choice doctrine to fight the war on terrorism, with their assumptions backed up by scholars who argue that Arabs are culturally predisposed to respond to a strong hand.[104] Princeton’s Bernard Lewis—mentor to many of the Bush administration’s Middle East counselors—briefed the White House foreign policy staff immediately after 9/11, brushing aside concerns that too harsh a retaliation would provoke the Arab street: “In that part of the world,” he said, “nothing matters more than resolute will and force.”[105]New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, bringing together the hard and soft components of U.S. power, advises that we “need to go into the heart of [the Arab] world and beat their brains out, frankly,” and then “partner with them” to “build a decent and different Iraq.”[106] Considering Washington’s strife-ridden record in Latin America, though, where it had the benefit of sharing with its critics a belief, however contested, in Americanism, the prospect of success for such a partnership seems dim.

Greg Grandin is Professor of History at New York University. He is the author of The Blood of Guatemala (Duke, 2000), which won the Latin American Studies Association’s Bryce Wood Book Award for best book on Latin America; The Last Colonial Massacre: Latin America in the Cold War (Chicago, 2004); and Empire’s Workshop: Latin America, the United States, and the Rise of the New Imperialism (Metropolitan, 2006). He has served on the United Nations Truth Commission for Guatemala, and has published in the Hispanic American Historical Review, the AHR, Harper’s, The Nation, the Boston Review, and the New York Times. He has most recently been awarded fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and the American Council of Learned Societies, Ryskamp Fellowship Program.


1 The 1954 intervention is discussed in Piero Gleijeses, Shattered Hope: The Guatemalan Revolution and the United States, 1944–1954 (Princeton, N.J., 1991); Nick Cullather, Secret History: The CIA’s Classified Account of Its Operations in Guatemala, 1952–1954 (Stanford, Calif., 1999); and Greg Grandin, The Last Colonial Massacre: Latin America in the Cold War (Chicago, 2004).

2 Alfonso Bauer Paiz, Como opera el capital yanqui en Centroamérica (El caso de Guatemala) (Mexico, 1956).

3 William E. Ratliff, “Chinese Communist Cultural Diplomacy toward Latin America, 1949–1960,” Hispanic American Historical Review 49, no. 1 (February 1969): 53–79, 69.

4 Huberto Alvarado Arellano, “Walt Whitman: Poeta Nacional, Democrático, y Realista,” Cuadernos del Guayas (Ecuador) 6 (1955): 20. Translations are mine unless otherwise noted.

5 Charles A. Hale, “Political Ideas and Ideologies in Latin America, 1870–1930,” in Leslie Bethell, ed., Ideas and Ideologies in Twentieth Century Latin America (Cambridge, 1996), 135–138.

6 I use “pan-Americanism” here in its broad, idealistic sense to cover the common liberal ground that existed between competing definitions of the idea of America, yet Latin Americans have often associated the term with Washington’s efforts to exert administrative control over the hemisphere: the Mexican writer and pedagogue José Vasconcelos distinguished between Bolivarism (“the Hispanic-American ideal of creating a federation with all the nations of Spanish culture”) and Monroeism (the “Anglo-Saxon ideal of incorporating the … Hispanic nations to the Northern empire by means of the politics of Pan-Americanism”); Vasconcelos, “Hispano-Americanism and Pan-Americanism,” in F. Toscano and James Hiester, eds., Anti-Yankee Feelings in Latin America: An Anthology of Latin American Writings from Colonial to Modern Times in Their Historical Perspective (Washington, D.C., 1982), 85–92, quotes from 85.

7 The literature on the responsibility of the U.S. in Latin American political repression is vast and growing. For an overview, see Americas Watch, With Friends Like These: The Americas Watch Report on Human Rights and U.S. Policy in Latin America (New York, 1985); for Brazil, see Martha Huggins, Political Policing: The United States and Latin America (Durham, N.C., 1998); for El Salvador, see National Security Archive, El Salvador: The Making of US Policy, 1977–1984 (Alexandria, Va., 1989), and Mark Danner, The Massacre at El Mozote: A Parable of the Cold War (New York, 1994); for Operation Condor, see John Dinges, The Condor Years: How Pinochet and His Allies Brought Terrorism to Three Continents (New York, 2004).

8 Ruben Darío, “To Roosevelt,” in Toscano and Hiester, Anti-Yankee Feelings in Latin America, 49–50, quote from 49.

9 For Martí’s “The Poet Walt Whitman,” see Gay Wilson Allen, ed., Walt Whitman Abroad: Critical Essays from Germany, France, Scandinavia, Russia, Italy, Spain and Latin America, Israel, Japan, and India (Syracuse, N.Y., 1955), 201–213, quotes from 205, 206, 211.

10 Gilberto Freyre, “Camerado Whitman,” in Allen, Walt Whitman Abroad, 223–234, quote from 231.

11 The Whitman cult in Latin America deepened through the Good Neighbor Policy and popular front period of the 1930s, until the years immediately following World War II. His influence on poets such as Pablo Neruda and Gabriela Mistral is apparent. See Luis Franco, Walt Whitman: El mayor demócrata que el mundo ha visto (Buenos Aires, 1940), and José Gabriel, Walt Whitman: La Voz Democrática de América (Montevideo, 1944).

12 Pedro Mir, Countersong to Walt Whitman and other Poems, trans. Jonathan Cohen and Donald D. Walsh (Washington, D.C., 1993), 97; a decade later, Mir’s poetics proved prophetic when Walt Whitman Rostow, an advocate of military escalation in Vietnam, became a key advisor to Presidents Kennedy and Johnson.

13 Octavio Paz, El arco y la lira: El poema; la revelación poética; poesía e historia (Mexico City, 1956), 299–300. Ten years later, another Mexican writer, Mauricio González de la Garza, was more blunt, focusing on Whitman’s earlier jingoistic writings, in Walt Whitman: Racista, imperalista, antiméxicano (Mexico, 1971; adapted from his 1966 Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México thesis). In 1973, Neruda’s Incitación al Nixonicidio, y alabanza de la revolución chilena (Santiago, 1973) returned to Darío’s strategy of using Whitman to rebuke U.S. aggression: “I call on you, necessary brother, old Walt Whitman … ”

14 For example, Alvin Z. Rubinstein and Donald E. Smith, “Anti-Americanism: Anatomy of a Phenomenon,” in Rubinstein and Smith, eds., Anti-Americanism in the Third World: Implications for U.S. Foreign Policy (New York, 1985), 1–30; Thomas Perry Thornton, “Preface,” in Thornton, ed., Anti-Americanism: Origins and Context, special edition, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 497 (May 1988): 9–19; Alan McPherson, Yankee No! Anti-Americanism in U.S.-Latin American Relations (Cambridge, Mass., 2003), 4.

15 Arthur Burns, “This Anti-Americanism Is Firstly Anti-Western,” International Herald Tribune, January 2, 1984.

16 Jean-François Revel, Anti-Americanism, trans. Diarmid Cammell (San Francisco, 2003), 12.

17 Stephen Haseler, The Varieties of Anti-Americanism: Reflex and Response (Washington, D.C., 1985), 19–20.

18 For example, George W. Grayson, “Anti-Americanism in Mexico,” in Rubinstein and Smith, Anti-Americanism in the Third World, 31–48.

19 Alvarado, “Walt Whitman,” 5.

20 Starting in the 1920s, scholarly and popular journals began to address the question of Latin American “Yankee-phobia”: Edward Perry, “Anti-American Propaganda in Hispanic America,” Hispanic American Historical Review 3, no. 1 (1920): 17–40; Anna Powell, “Relations between the United States and Nicaragua, 1898–1916,” Hispanic American Historical Review 8, no. 1 (1928): 43–64, J. Fred Rippy, “Literary Yankee-Phobia in Latin America,” Journal of International Relations 12 (January 1922): 350–371; “Latin America’s Distrust of Uncle Sam,” Literary Digest 79, no. 1 (October 6, 1923): 23–24; and “As Latin America Sees US,” American Mercury 3 (December 1924): 465–471. See also Tancredo Pinochet, The Gulf of Misunderstanding (or North and South as Seen by Each Other) (New York, 1920).

21 There are few references in the early to mid-nineteenth century to “anti-Americanism” as a noun, used in the sense of opposition to a set of values represented by the idea of “America.” President Andrew Johnson used the adjective “anti-American” in relation to the French occupation of Mexico, concerned that France would “raise up in Mexico an anti-republican or anti-American” government; “Message of President Transmitting Report on Evacuation of Mexico by French,” April 23, 1866, 36, available online at (accessed August 3, 2004). As the United States began to displace British, French, and German economic interests in Latin America, the U.S. press occasionally complained of “anti-American propaganda” on the part of European influence in the hemisphere; see “Foreign Feeling in Brazil,” New York Times, February 4, 1894, 20, and “Warned of the United States,” New York Times, August 13, 1899, 7. Interestingly, government agents occasionally used the charge of “anti-American” against Anglo settlers in western North America who did not recognize the authority of the federal government. The commander of Fort Pickett on San Juan Island in Washington Territory, for instance, applied the term to settlers who were abusing Native Americans against the orders of territorial officials; “Indian Depredations in Oregon and Washington … ,” January 11, 1861, 24, available online at (accessed August 3, 2004).

22 For example, “Anti-American Manifesto,” New York Times, February 20, 1899, 1, and “Filipinos Unfit to Rule Themselves,” New York Times, November 3, 1899, 6.

23 McPherson’s Yankee No! discusses “anti-Americanism” during the Nixon trip, the Panama Canal riots, and the Cuban Revolution.

24 Perry Anderson, The Origins of Postmodernity (London, 1998), 3.

25 Between 1900 and 1989, approximately 1,000 titles were published in Latin America containing the word “imperialism.” The Cuban nationalist weekly Patria used the term in 1898 (October 15); in Peru, Luis de las Casas wrote a doctoral thesis titled “Imperialismo” (Lima, 1901). Other examples include Enrique José Varona’s “Imperialismo a la luz de la sociología” (1905), in Pedro Pablo Rodríguez and Josefina Meza, eds., Política y sociedad (Havana, 1999), 221–235; Carlos Pereyra, La doctrina Monroe: El destino manifiesto y el imperialismo (Mexico, 1908); Salvador Turcios, Al margen del imperialismo yanqui (San Salvador, 1915); and Francisco Caraballo Sotolongo, El imperialismo norteamericano (Havana, 1914).

26 Francisco Bilbao, América en peligro (1856), excerpted in Benjamin Keen, Latin American Civilization: History and Society, 1492 to the Present, 7th ed. (Boulder, Colo., 2000), 477–482, quotes from 479.

27 Darío, “To Roosevelt,” 50.

28 José Enrique Rodó, Ariel (Montevideo, 1900). Cuban Roberto Fernández Retamar, foreshadowing similar postcolonial appropriations, claimed both Caliban and Ariel as symbols of colonial subjugation and assigned to the United States the role of Prospero, the “foreign magician”; Fernández Retamar, Calibán: Apuntes sobre la cultura en nuestra América (Mexico, 1971).

29 Unlike most Latin American critics, Martí gained his insights through extended firsthand observation of U.S. society, offering trenchant commentary on the gap that existed in the United States between the promise of liberal political equality and the reality of racial subordination; see his essays in José Martí, ed., En los Estados Unidos (Madrid, 1968).

30 Aims McGuinness, “Searching for ‘Latin America’: Race and Sovereignty in the Americas in the 1850s,” in Nancy Appelbaum, Anne Macpherson, and Karin Alejandra Rosemblatt, eds., Race and Nation in Modern Latin America (Chapel Hill, N.C., 2003), 97–102, writes that the first uses of “América Latina” and “dos Américas” were in an 1856 poem by José María Torres Caicedo titled “Las dos Américas,” protesting Walker’s invasion of Nicaragua. The poem was published in Paris, highlighting how European, particularly French, influence reinvigorated Spanish Catholic antipathy toward Anglo-Saxonism. In the 1950s, U.S. observers often complained that Latin American elites learned their “anti-Americanism” in French schools; see McPherson, Yankee No!, 26.

31 Víctor Raúl Haya de la Torre, \?A dónde va Indoamérica? (Santiago, 1936); Michael J. Schroeder, “The Sandino Rebellion Revisited: Civil War, Imperialism, Popular Nationalism, and State Formation Muddied Up Together in the Segovias of Nicaragua, 1926–1934,” in Gilbert M. Joseph, Catherine C. LeGrand, and Ricardo D. Salvatore, eds., Close Encounters of Empire: Writing the Cultural History of U.S.-Latin American Relations (Durham, N.C., 1998), 208–268; see also Franz Tamayo, “Mensaje a la juventud libre de Indoamérica,” Repertorio Americano 16, no. 12 (1928).

32 Linda B. Klein, “The Rhetorics of Yankeephobia: Anti-U.S. Sentiment in Spanish American Literature” (Ph.D. diss., Columbia University, New York, 1971).

33 Frederick Pike, “Visions of Rebirth: The Spiritualist Facet of Peru’s Haya de la Torre,” Hispanic American Historical Review 63, no. 3 (August 1983): 479–516, describes how the Alianza Popular Revolucionaria Americana, founded in 1924 in Peru, followed by franchises in nearly every Latin American country, melded the eclectic, often incongruous strands that constituted early-twentieth-century internationalism, including socialism, occult humanism, anti-imperialism, and nationalism.

34 Manuel Ugarte, El porvenir de la América Española: La raza, la integridad territorial y moral, la organización interior (Valencia, 1920), 197.

35 Lenin’s analysis of the determining causes of imperialism had been available in Latin America since 1917 (published by Talleres Nueva América in Santiago, Chile, as El imperialismo, fase superior del capitalismo). Yet most Latin Americans focused not on what drove U.S. imperialism but on its effects and violence. Francisco García Calderón, “El imperialismo yanquí en la América Central,” Cuba Contemporánea 1 (1914): 14–27, identified the Panama Canal as a line marking two forms of U.S. imperialism: to the south, informal “financial, industrial, and commercial penetration” reigned; to the north, “absolute and indisputable political hegemony” (16). Juan José Arévalo, The Shark and the Sardines, trans. of Fábula del tiburón y las sardinas by June Cobb and Raul Osegueda (New York, 1961), quote from 243.

36 Baldomero Lillo, Sub Terra: Cuadros Mineros (Santiago, 1973); cf. Catherine James Hampares, “The Image of the Yankee: The North American Businessman in the Contemporary Novel of Spanish America” (Ph.D. diss., Columbia University, 1968). Two famous examples of this genre are Guatemala’s Miguel Angel Asturias’s “Banana Trilogy” (Los ojos de los enterrados; El papa verde; and Viento fuerte, published in the 1950s) and Colombia’s Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude, whose town of Macondo serves as a literary illustration to dependency theory. Rómulo Gallegos, Doña Bárbara (Caracas, 1985), 97.

37 Thomas O’Brien, The Revolutionary Mission: American Enterprise in Latin America, 1900–1945 (Cambridge, Mass., 1996), and John Mason Hart, Empire and Revolution: The Americans in Mexico since the Civil War (Berkeley, Calif., 2002).

38 Samuel Flagg Bemis, The Latin American Policy of the United States: An Historical Interpretation (New York, 1943), 202–226.

39 “Pro-Nicaraguan Committees” sprang up throughout Latin America. El Repertorio Americano, based in Costa Rica because of that country’s relative political openness, and which enjoyed a readership throughout Latin America and Europe, published regular articles on the Nicaraguan crisis. U.S. ambassadors to Latin America conveyed to Washington their concern with the growing opposition, as U.S. policy was denounced in manifestos, at grassroots meetings, in condemnatory editorials, and at ever larger street protests (in order to bypass government prohibitions against anti–U.S. policy demonstrations, protesters often claimed to be organizing pro-Mexican rallies). In the United States, Sandino’s war resuscitated the moribund Anti-Imperialist League, first formed in response to the Spanish-American war three decades earlier. And while Europe’s anti-imperialist movement focused mostly on colonialism in Asia and Africa, Sandino’s struggle nonetheless stirred sympathy: for example, at the International Congress against Colonialism and Imperialism, held in Frankfurt, Germany, in 1929, a Mexican delegate displayed a tattered U.S. flag captured by Sandino’s troops, drawing cheers and applause; Richard V. Salisbury, Anti-Imperialism and International Competition in Central America, 1920–1929 (Wilmington, Del., 1989), 131–156.

40 Salisbury, Anti-Imperialism, 115.

41 Newspapers cited in John Edwin Fagg, Pan Americanism (Malabar, Fla., 1982), 161–162.

42 Bemis, The Latin American Policy of the United States, 202–255, describes steps taken by Republican administrations prefiguring Roosevelt’s Good Neighbor Policy.

43 For policy intellectuals’ criticism of U.S. policy toward Latin America in the second half of the Hoover administration, see the essays under the heading “Our Future Relations with Latin America,” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 156 (July 1931): 110–136; see also Thomas J. McCormick, “Walking the Tightrope: Adolf A. Berle and America’s Journey from Social to Global Capitalism, 1933–1945,” in Thomas J. McCormick and Walter LaFeber, eds., Behind the Throne: Servants of Power to Imperial Presidents, 1898–1968 (Madison, Wis., 1993).

44 Cited in McCormick, “Walking the Tightrope,” 138.

45 Gerard Colby with Charlotte Dennett, Thy Will Be Done: The Conquest of the Amazon—Nelson Rockefeller and Evangelism in the Age of Oil (New York, 1995), 82.

46 Franklin D. Roosevelt, The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, vol. 2: The Years of Crisis, 1933 (New York 1938); Juan Demóstenes Arosemena, Discurso pronunciado por el Presidente de la República de Panamá: En la sesión inaugural de la reunión consultiva de los Ministros de relaciones exteriores de las repúblicas Americanas (Panama, 1939), 4.

47 One of the first instances of a concern on the part of Latin America that U.S. materialism could undermine the promise of republicanism can be found in the late-eighteenth-century diary of Francisco de Miranda, who would go on to be one of Venezuela’s independence leaders. During his visit to New England, Miranda inquired of Samuel Adams about the dangers of founding a democracy such as the United States on “property” rather than on “virtue”; William Spence Robertson, ed., The Diary of Francisco de Miranda: Tour of the United States, 1783–1784 (New York, 1928), 118.

48 Paulo G. Carozza, “From Conquest to Constitutions: Retrieving a Latin American Tradition of the Idea of Human Rights,” Human Rights Quarterly 25 (2003): 281–313.

49 Bemis, The Latin American Policy of the United States, 230, 147, describes the 1868 “Calvo Doctrine,” named after Carlos Calvo, and the 1902 “Drago Doctrine,” named after Luis Drago.

50 Ibid., 252.

51 Alvarez elaborated these ideas over the course of an extraordinarily long and productive career; see, for example, “Latin America and International Law,” American Journal of International Law 3 (April 1909): 269–353; “New Conception and New Bases of Legal Philosophy,” Illinois Law Review 13 (1918–1919): 25–41; “The Necessity for the Reconstruction of International Law—Its Aim,” in Proceedings of the Fourth Conference of Teachers of International Law and Related Subjects (Washington, D.C., 1930); and The Monroe Doctrine: Its Importance in the International Life of the States of the New World (New York, 1924).

52 Bemis, The Latin American Policy of the United States, 236; James Brown Scott, “The Gradual and Progressive Codification of International Law,” American Journal of International Law 21, no. 3 (July 1927): 417–450.

53 Cited in Bemis, The Latin American Policy of the United States, 233.

54 Competition with the U.S. over who would negotiate a peace between Paraguay and Bolivia in the 1928–1935 Chaco War spurred Saavedra Lamas to draft the treaty. Philip Jessup, “The Saavedra Lamas Anti-War Draft Treaty,” American Journal of International Law 27, no. 1 (January 1933): 109–114. The treaty is found in Supplement to the American Journal of International Law: Official Documents 28, no. 3 (July 1934): 79–84.

55 Carlton Beals, Bryce Oliver, Herschel Brickell, and Samuel Guy Inman, What the South Americans Think of Us: A Symposium (New York, 1945), provides a balanced survey of Latin American opinion of the United States during the Good Neighbor Policy. Close to nine hundred texts critical of the U.S. were published in Latin America between 1933 and 1959, suggesting that the Soviet Union’s popular front directive to tone down anti-imperialist criticism had limited effect in Latin America; William S. Stokes, “Cultural Anti-Americanism in Latin America,” in George Anderson, ed., Issues and Conflicts: Studies in Twentieth-Century American Diplomacy (Lawrence, Kans., 1959), 315–338.

56 Alejandro Alvarez, International Law and Related Subjects from the Point of View of the American Continent: A Report on Lectures in the Universities of the United States, 1916–1918 (Washington, D.C., 1922), 14; Alvarez, Después de la Guerra: La vida internacional, social e intelectual (Buenos Aires, 1942).

57 The Brazilian Ilmar Penna Marinho wrote in 1947: “In a word: the new juridical order is to be based fundamentally on the policy of absolute interdependence and strict international collaboration”; Marinho, Característics essenciais do novo direito internacional (Rio de Janeiro, 1947), 21.

58 Edgardo Manotas Wilches, Le nouveau droit des gens (Paris, 1948), 59.

59 Jorge Americano, The New Foundation of International Law (New York, 1947), 5. See also Pedro Batista Martins, Da unidade do direito e da supremacia do direito internacional (Rio de Janeiro, 1942); Levi Carneiro, O Direito internacional e a democracia (Rio de Janiero, 1945); José Maria Velasco Ibarra, Derecho internacional del futuro (Buenos Aires, 1943).

60 For Latin America’s role in building the postwar order, and especially the Universal Declaration, see Carozza, “From Conquest to Constitutions”; Susan Waltz, “Universalizing Human Rights: The Role of Small States in the Construction of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” Human Rights Quarterly 23 (2001): 44–72; John Humphrey, Human Rights and the United Nations: A Great Adventure (Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., 1984); Johannes Morsink, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Origins, Drafting and Intent (Philadelphia, Pa., 1999); and Hernán Santa Cruz, Cooperar o perecer: El dilema de la comunidad mundial, 2 vols. (Buenos Aires, 1984).

61 Colby, Thy Will be Done, 173–175, provides an account of how Rockefeller “became the United States’ parliamentary whip over Latin America” at the founding of the UN.

62 Franklin D. Roosevelt, F.D.R.: His Personal Letters, ed. Elliott Roosevelt, vol. 2: 1928–1945 (New York, 1950), 1445–1447.

63 Frederick Marks, Wind over Sand: The Diplomacy of Franklin Roosevelt (Athens, Ga., 1990), 217.

64 Bemis, The Latin American Policy of the United States, 270.

65 Fredrick B. Pike, FDR’s Good Neighbor Policy: Sixty Years of Generally Gentle Chaos (Austin, Tex., 1995), 220; Marks, Wind over Sand, 218.

66 Frank Niess, A Hemisphere to Itself: A History of US-Latin American Relations (London, 1990), 115–123.

67 David Green, Containment of Latin America: A History of the Myths and Realities of the Good Neighbor Policy (Chicago, 1971).

68 By 1936, the opinion of some Latin American nations had shifted away from the goal of creating uniquely “American” institutions; they had come to believe that international organizations would best temper U.S. power. Argentina, for example, resisted U.S. efforts to establish official channels for consultation and action in the face of an outside threat, considering that such mechanisms would create an “American League of Nations” working at odds with Geneva; Bemis, The Latin American Policy of the United States, 286–287. Such a fear became a reality during the Cold War. In 1954, for example, the Eisenhower administration used the Organization of American States to isolate Guatemala by arguing that supposed Soviet influence on its government represented a threat to the Americas, thus legitimating the 1954 coup; recounted in Gleijeses, Shattered Hope.

69 Geir Lundestad, “Empire by Invitation? The United States and Western Europe, 1945–1952,” Journal of Peace Research 23 (September 1986): 263–277.

70 David F. Schmitz, Thank God They’re on Our Side: The United States and Right-Wing Dictatorships, 1921–1965 (Chapel Hill, N.C., 1999), 145.

71 Walter LaFeber, “Thomas C. Mann and the Devolution of Latin American Policy: From the Good Neighbor to Military Intervention,” in McCormick and LaFeber, Behind the Throne, 174.

72 Richard D. Lambert, ed., America through Foreign Eyes, special edition, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 295 (September 1954). See also Franz Joseph, ed., As Others See Us: The United States through Foreign Eyes (Princeton, N.J., 1959).

73 McPherson, Yankee No!, 21–26.

74 Richard Lambert, “Foreword,” in America through Foreign Eyes, vii–viii, viii.

75 William Buchanan, “How Others See Us,” ibid., 1–11, quotes from 6, 7, 11. For early efforts to use social psychology to explain “national character,” see Militon D. Graham, “An Experiment in International Attitudes Research,” International Social Science Bulletin 3, no. 3 (Fall 1951): 525–539; Ralph Linton, “The Concept of National Character,” in A. H. Stanton and S. E. Perry, eds., Personality and Political Crisis (Glencoe, Ill., 1951), 133–150; William Buchanan and Hadley Cantril, How Nations See Each Other (Urbana, Ill., 1953).

76 For Bernays’s role, see his Biography of an Idea (New York, 1965) and the BBC documentary Century of the Self, episode 2, “The Engineering of Consent,” 2002.

77 Cullather, Secret History, 66.

78 Ibid., 83.

79 “Memorandum from William Robertson of Operation PBSUCCESS to the Chief of the Project,” available online at, “Foreign Relations, Guatemala 1952–1954,” doc. 274 (accessed February 3, 2005).

80 See the discussion of this manual in Grandin, The Last Colonial Massacre, 238.

81 Ron Robin, The Making of the Cold War Enemy: Culture and Politics in the Military-Intellectual Complex (Princeton, N.J., 2001), 7. Robin identifies the research associated with the publication of Samuel A. Stouffer’s The American Soldier (2 vols., Princeton, N.J., 1949), as well as the work of Daniel Lerner, Bernard Berelson, James Charlesworth, David McClelland, Paul Lazarsfeld, and Harold Lasswell, as emblematic of “behavioralist” approaches that downplayed ideology, politics, and history as motivating factors of human action.

82 For example, Flora Lewis, “Why There Is Anti-Americanism in Mexico,” New York Times Magazine, July 6, 1952, 10, 30–31.

83 Norman D. Humphrey, “The Mexican Image of Americans,” in Lambert, America through Foreign Eyes, 116–125, 119.

84 Ibid.

85 McPherson, Yankee No!, 34.

86 Ibid., 33, 35.

87 Ibid., 23.

88 In the early 1960s, counterinsurgent doctrine tended to emphasize either poverty and inequality or the cultural and social affinity established between an insurgency’s leaders and its base as the cause of rebellion. For the former approach, see Walt Whitman Rostow, “Countering Guerrilla Attack,” in Franklin Mark Osanka, ed., Modern Guerrilla Warfare: Fighting Communist Guerrilla Movements, 1941–1961 (New York, 1962), 464–471; for the latter, see the discussion in Robin, The Making of the Cold War Enemy, 189–191.

89 Nathan Leites and Charles Wolf, Jr., Rebellion and Authority: An Analytical Essay on Insurgent Conflicts (Chicago, 1970), 42; Robin, The Making of the Cold War Enemy, 189–199, analyzes the transition from “constructive” to “coercive” counterinsurgency.

90 Thomas Schelling, Arms and Influence (New Haven, Conn., 1966), 2.

91 Leites and Wolf, Rebellion and Authority, 155.

92 Following the Cuban Revolution, Kennedy’s “Cuban Study Group”—headed by Maxwell Taylor, Robert Kennedy, and Allen Dulles—deemed that Castro’s “anti-Americanism” constituted a “real menace” to U.S. interests in the hemisphere, and they counseled taking “active measures” to remove the threat; “Recommendations of the Cuban Study Group,” June 13, 1961, Folder: Cuba—Bay of Pigs, Box 2, John F. Kennedy Library, available online at (accessed March 5, 2004). Likewise, a National Security Council memo identified the threat posed by Castro as residing in the appeal of “anti-Americanism” for other Latin American nations as they undergo the disruptions of modernization; National Security Council, “Draft of U.S. Policy toward Cuba,” May 4, 1961, available online at (accessed July 29, 2004). Between 1945 and 1957, 354 foreign policy documents addressed “anti-Americanism,” according to the Declassified Document Reference System electronic database; between 1959 and 1971, the number doubled to 877, with nearly half related to Cuba.

93 For the social science origins of Kennedy’s foreign policy, both its hard and soft components, see Michael Latham, Modernization as Ideology: American Social Science and “Nation Building” in the Kennedy Era (Chapel Hill, N.C., 2000).

94 John Dinges, The Condor Years: How Pinochet and His Allies Brought Terrorism to Three Continents (New York, 2003), and J. Patrice McSherry, Predatory States: Operation Condor and Covert War in Latin America (Lanham, Md., 2005).

95 Juan E. Corradi, Patricia Weiss Fagen, and Manuel Antonio Garretón, eds., Fear at the Edge: State Terror and Resistance in Latin America (Berkeley, Calif., 1992); Comisión Nacional de Verdad y Reconciliación, Informe de la Comisión Nacional de Verdad y Reconciliación, 3 vols. (Santiago, 1991); Comisión Nacional Sobre la Desaparición de Personas, Nunca más: Informe de la Comisión Nacional Sobre la Desaparición de Personas (Buenos Aires, 1984); and Comisión para el Esclarecimiento Histórico, Guatemala: Memoria del silencio, 12 vols. (Guatemala City, 1999).

96 For culture as bulwark, see Samuel Huntington, “The Bases of Accommodation,” Foreign Affairs 46 (July 1968): 642–656, 646.

97 McPherson, Yankee No!, 23. See also Alan Girard and Raul Samuel, Situación y perspectives de Chile en septiembre de 1957 (Santiago, 1958), which confirmed that the U.S. enjoyed more support among the working class than did the USSR.

98 McPherson, Yankee No!, 33. See also comments John F. Kennedy made in Puerto Rico following Nixon’s ill-fated Latin American tour, ibid., 72.

99 Alvarez, Después de la guerra, 74.

100 McPherson, Yankee No!, 24.

101 Louis Pérez, On Becoming Cuban: Identity, Nationality, and Culture (Chapel Hill, N.C., 1999), 487.

102 “President Bush Discusses Importance of Democracy in Middle East,” Remarks by the President on Winston Churchill and the War on Terror, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., February 4, 2004, available online at (accessed August 15, 2004).

103 Hollander made his remarks after attending a State Department conference on the topic of “Anti-Americanism”; Ron Brunton, “Last Refuge of the Anti-American,” Brisbane Courier Mail, September 7, 2002. See also Paul Hollander, Anti-Americanism: Critiques at Home and Abroad, 1965–1990 (New York, 1992).

104 Nicholas Lemann, “What Terrorists Want,” The New Yorker, October 29, 2001, 36–41.

105 Nicholas Lemann, “The Next World Order,” The New Yorker, April 1, 2002, 42–48.

106Tim Russert Show, CNBC, September 13, 2003.