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Guant?namo: An American History

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by Jonathan M. Hansen
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Guant?namo: An American History by Jonathan M. Hansen

An on-the-ground history of American empire

Say the word "Guant?namo" and orange jumpsuits, chain-link fences, torture, and indefinite detention come to mind. To critics the world over, Guant?namo Bay, Cuba, is a striking symbol of American hypocrisy. But the prison isn't the whole story. For more than two centuries, Guant?namo has been at the center of American imperial ambition, first as an object of desire then as a convenient staging ground.

In Guant?namo: An American History, Jonathan M. Hansen presents the first complete account of this fascinating place. The U.S. presence at Guant?namo predates even the nation itself, as the bay figured centrally in the imperial expansion plans of colonist and British sailor Lawrence Washington--half brother of the future president George. As the young United States rose in power, Thomas Jefferson and his followers envisioned a vast "empire of liberty," which hinged on U.S. control of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. Politically and geographically, Guant?namo Bay was the key to this strategy. So when Cubans took up arms against their Spanish rulers in 1898, America swooped in to ensure that Guant?namo would end up firmly in its control.

Over the next century, the American navy turned the bay into an idyllic modern Mayberry--complete with bungalows, cul-de-sacs, and country clubs--which base residents still enjoy. In many ways, Guant?namo remains more quintessentially American than America itself: a distillation of the idealism and arrogance that has characterized U.S. national identity and foreign policy from the very beginning.

Despite the Obama administration's repeated efforts to shutter the notorious prison, the naval base is in no danger of closing anytime soon. Places like Guant?namo, which fall between the clear borders of law and sovereignty, continue to serve a purpose regardless of which leaders--left, right, or center--hold the reins of power.

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Ebook Details
Pages: 448
Size: 765 KB
Publisher: Hill and Wang
Date published:   2011
ISBN: 9780809048977 (DRM-EPUB)

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This ebook will NOT be sold to customers with a billing address in:
American Samoa, Canada, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Philippines, Puerto Rico, United States, United States Minor Outlying Islands, Virgin Islands (U.S.)

This product is listed in the following categories:

Nonfiction > History > United States
Nonfiction > History > Caribbean & West Indies > Cuba

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