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Guantánamo, USA : the untold history of America's Cuban outpost /
Stephen Irving Max Schwab.
Lawrence : University Press of Kansas, c2009.
xi, 367 p.
0700616705 (cloth : alk. paper), 9780700616701 (cloth : alk. paper)
More Details
Lawrence : University Press of Kansas, c2009.
0700616705 (cloth : alk. paper)
9780700616701 (cloth : alk. paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2009-09-28:
Schwab, a former senior analyst for the CIA's South American division and a professor of history at the University of Alabama, unravels the complex past of Guantanamo, Cuba, the U.S.'s oldest overseas base, where so-called enemy combatants in the war on terror have been imprisoned and tortured. Posing the critical question of why Guantanamo is needed for American security, Schwab looks at the early rise of this national interest under President Theodore Roosevelt, who placed a naval base there, giving the U.S. a presence in the Caribbean, despite solid local resistance and prominent critics such as Jane Addams and Mark Twain. Real benefits were reaped during WWII as the U.S. Navy used the base to quell Nazi U-boat aggression in the region. The base remained a hot spot during the cold war, with Castro and LBJ tussling over water rights for navy staff there, and later as a center for trying to stem the flow of drugs and undocumented aliens to the mainland. Well-researched, sharply written, Schwab's book fills in the crucial gaps on this controversial base, now as notorious as Iraq's infamous Abu Ghraib prison. 20 photos, 5 maps. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Appeared in Choice on 2010-04-01:
This meticulously researched and important book provides fresh historical perspective on a timely subject. Schwab (Univ. of Alabama) frames his story of Guantanamo in its relationship to US hemispheric and global strategic interests. Through seven substantive chapters, the author traces the evolving political-diplomatic-military dimensions of this unique military outpost from the era of William McKinley to that of Lyndon Johnson. Beginning with the creation of Guantanamo as a forward naval base to its more recent (and controversial) use as an interrogation facility for suspected terrorists, Schwab demonstrates that it has served shifting practical and symbolic purposes for US officials since its inception. He also seeks to highlight the use of the base by Cubans for their own purposes of "mediation and compromise." The author succeeds in satisfying the former while falling short of fulfilling the latter. Although Schwab acknowledges the cultural hegemony inherent in the presence of a Starbucks and McDonald's on the base, this aspect is underdeveloped and given fuller treatment in Jana Lipman's recent book, Guantanamo: A Working-Class History between Empire and Revolution (CH, Nov'09, 47-1599). Nonetheless, this is an essential and authoritative addition to any library. Summing Up: Highly recommended. General readers and above, all libraries. K. A. Tyvela University of Wisconsin-Washington County
Appeared in Library Journal on 2009-12-10:
Guantanamo Naval Base is America's greatest anomaly, 45 square miles located on Cuba's southeast coast, our oldest overseas naval base, a thorn is Castro's side for over 50 years, and most lately, home to the controversial terrorist prison, GITMO. Schwab's (history, Univ. of Alabama) history, detailed and well documented, often reads like the dissertation from which it was revised. But whatever criticisms may be leveled at the heavy prose are far outweighed by an excellent history of Guantanamo Bay across more than 100 years, from Alfred Thayer Mahan's promotion of sea power, which influenced Theodore Roosevelt's desire to establish a strong navy, to two chapters on the cold war and its impact on the base. The discussion of the Castro brothers and their cold war rhetoric about Guantanamo, the suspense centering on the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the recent role of the base as a prison make this the definitive history of this military outpost placed in the midst of these two antagonistic nations. Verdict Highly recommended for public and academic libraries.-Boyd Childress, Auburn Univ. Lib., AL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
This item was reviewed in:
Publishers Weekly, September 2009
Library Journal, December 2009
Choice, April 2010
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Main Description
Established as Americas first foreign naval base following the Spanish-American War, Guantnamo is now more often thought of as our Devils Island, the gulag of our times. This book takes readers beyond the orange-jumpsuited detainees of todays headlines to provide the first comprehensive history of Guantnamo from its origins to the present. Occupying 45 square miles of land and sea, Guantnamo has for more than a century symbolized the imperial impulse within U.S. foreign policy, and its occupation is decried by Cuba as a violation of international law-even though a treaty legally grants the U.S. a lease in perpetuity. Stephen Schwab now describes the bases role in American, Caribbean, and global history, explaining how it came to be, why its still there, and how it continues to serve a variety of purposes. Schwab views the bases creation as part of a broad U.S. strategy of annexations, protectorates, and limited interventions devised to create a strong sphere of influence in the western Atlantic. He charts its history from this early belief that it would prevent European powers from staking imperial claims in the Caribbean and examines the crucial defensive role that Guantnamo played as a convoy hub for strategic goods during World War II. He then looks at clashes over Guantnamo during the Cold War, culminating in LBJs decision to make the base independent by firing Cuban workers and building a desalinization plant. Schwab also fleshes out Guantnamos ongoing roles as the U.S. Navys lone forward base in the Caribbean, providing refueling for U.S. and allied ships, as a Coast Guard station engaged in search-and-rescue missions and counternarcotics operations, and as a U.S. facility for processing undocumented aliens. Even though the Castro government persistently protests Americas presence-and refuses even to bank the rent that the U.S. dutifully pays-Guantnamo remains the only place where diplomatic exchanges between the two countries occur, and Schwab documents how the facility has served mutual interests as both a point of nationalistic frictions and a center for diplomatic compromise. By presenting Guantnamos story within its broader historical framework, his book gives readers a greater appreciation of Americas true stake in this controversial Caribbean outpost.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introduction: The Significance of Guantánamop. 1
The Rise of the U.S. Navy and Theodore Rooseveltp. 15
The Battle for Guantánamo in 1898p. 39
Cubans Resist U.S. Base Acquisitonp. 61
The First Overseas U.S. Basep. 95
Peace and Warp. 130
The Cold War, Part 1p. 175
The Cold War, Part 2p. 196
Guantánamo Enduresp. 223
Imperial Germany and the Caribbean, 1890s-1917p. 239
Transcriptions of Letters from Elihu Root, 1901p. 242
Theodore Roosevelt's Message to Congress for Representation in Cuba, 1902p. 252
Leasing Agreement between the United States and Cuba, 1903p. 255
Treaty Agreement between the United States and Cuba, 1934p. 260
Statement by the Government of Cuba, 2002p. 263
Notesp. 269
Bibliographyp. 337
Indexp. 357
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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