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Thy Will Be Done: The Conquest of the Amazon : Nelson Rockefeller and… (original 1995; edition 1995)
by Gerard Colby
Thy Will Be Done: The Conquest of the Amazon : Nelson Rockefeller and Evangelism in the Age of Oil by Gerard Colby (1995)
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At the heart of this story are two intensely ambitious and ultimately tragic figures: Nelson Rockefeller, scion of the liberal Standard Oil family, and William Cameron Townsend, founder of the ultraconservative Wycliffe Bible Translators. Although leaders of opposing camps, both found common cause in the struggle against fascism and then communism, with ironic, fateful results. For the first time, using Rockefeller's own recently released documents, the authors reveal the secret economic side of Nelson's political career as a key adviser on Latin America to U.S. presidents from Franklin D. Roosevelt to Richard Nixon and as Gerald Ford's vice president. Thy Will Be Done explores Rockefeller's mysterious role as Dwight D. Eisenhower's liaison with the CIA, his championing of Eisenhower's nemesis, the military-industrial complex, his growing conflicts with President John F. Kennedy over Latin America, and his secret political alliance with Lyndon Johnson during that president's bitter dispute with Senator Robert Kennedy over Latin America and the Vietnam War. We see Rockefeller gathering political power and building a vast business empire in Latin America, working with the CIA, developing close friendships with famous Latin American politicians and businessmen, and increasingly advocating military dictatorships, while Townsend's missionaries are used to pacify native populations in frontiers rich in oil and rare minerals or subject to guerrilla insurgencies. Seeking to hasten the prophesied Second Coming, Townsend pursues a fanatical effort to reach every Bibleless tribe with the Word, even to the point of saving their souls by destroying their cultures and allying with the dictators who oppress them. Rockefeller and Townsend contributed more than any other Americans to the conquest of the Amazon that now threatens to destroy the "lungs of the planet," the rain forests. Their systematic campaign of colonization was a chilling foretaste of American intervention in the Third World that has become so common that today we take for granted repeated forays in the name of democracy and the securing of valuable resources.
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