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Bitter Fruit: The Untold Story of the American Coup in Guatemala

by Stephen C. Schlesinger, Stephen Kinzer

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1492186,787 (4.23)2
"Bitter Fruit" recounts in telling detail the CIA operation to overthrow the democratically elected government of Jacobo Arbenz of Guatemala in 1954. The 1982 book has become a classic, a textbook case study of Cold War meddling that succeeded only to condemn Guatemala to decades of military dictatorship. The authors make extensive use of U.S. government publications and documents, as well as interviews with former CIA and other officials. The Harvard edition includes a powerful new introduction by historian John Coatsworth, Director of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies; an insightful prologue by Richard Nuccio, former State Department official who revealed recent evidence of CIA misconduct in Guatemala to Congress; and a compelling afterword by coauthor Stephen Kinzer, now Istanbul bureau chief for the "New York Times", summarizing developments that led from the 1954 coup to the peace accords that ended Guatemala's civil strife forty years later.… (more)
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The history of the United States’ involvement in Central American politics is not a happy one, as anyone with a passing knowledge of the area will tell you. This record of the CIA operation to overthrow the democratically-elected government of Jabobo Arbenz in 1954 is an incredibly well-told account of what is, sadly, just another tawdry chapter in the story of US abuses in this part of the world.

Schlesinger’s particular brilliance is to make the history seem, not bigger, but smaller. The key protagonists don’t feel like they’re just actors of some impersonal “grand history”, but real people who made stupid real-people mistakes, and did horrible real-people things.

In 2017, Guatemala has an ex-comedian as a President who previously posed in blackface and keeps provoking neighbouring Belize with a decades-old territorial dispute. But, good to be reminded that things have been worse.
  sometimeunderwater | Feb 19, 2018 |
Fruta Amarga es la soprendente historia del afan aventurero de la CIA. Nos relata la Operacion Exito que, con la aprobacion del presidente Eisenhower, el secretario de Estado John Foster Dulles y su hermano Allen; director de la CIA, concibieron y orquestaron para llevar al poder a un gobierno compatible con la United Fruit, derrocando al legitimo gobierno de Guatemala. El plan incluia un embajador empistolado, una campaña de propaganda mkontada en la prensa norteamericana, un andrajoso ejercito nacionalista pagado por la CIA, una campaña de desinformacion a traves de estaciones de radio clandestinas, asi como pilotos norteamericnos mercenarios que bombarearon la cidudad de Guatemala.

Es una dramatica version de una traicion cuidadosametne planeada y que puede ser el episodio mas importante en la historia tanto en la CIA como en la actual Centroamerica.
  ckepfer | Aug 14, 2017 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Stephen C. Schlesingerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Kinzer, Stephenmain authorall editionsconfirmed
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As dawn broke over Guatemala City, a C-47 transport plane lumbered low in the sky, flying from the south over nearby mountains.
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"Bitter Fruit" recounts in telling detail the CIA operation to overthrow the democratically elected government of Jacobo Arbenz of Guatemala in 1954. The 1982 book has become a classic, a textbook case study of Cold War meddling that succeeded only to condemn Guatemala to decades of military dictatorship. The authors make extensive use of U.S. government publications and documents, as well as interviews with former CIA and other officials. The Harvard edition includes a powerful new introduction by historian John Coatsworth, Director of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies; an insightful prologue by Richard Nuccio, former State Department official who revealed recent evidence of CIA misconduct in Guatemala to Congress; and a compelling afterword by coauthor Stephen Kinzer, now Istanbul bureau chief for the "New York Times", summarizing developments that led from the 1954 coup to the peace accords that ended Guatemala's civil strife forty years later.

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