Siekmeier, James. The Bolivian revolution and the United States, 1952 to the present. Pennsylvania State, 2011. 210p bibl index afp ISBN 0-271-03779-2, $64.95; ISBN 9780271037790, $64.95. Reviewed in 2011dec CHOICE.
Diplomatic historians have long pondered contrasting US responses to seemingly similar political developments during the Guatemalan Spring of 1944-54 and the Movimiento Nacionalista Revolucionario (MNR) reforms of 1952-64 in Bolivia. Siekmeier (West Virginia Univ.) follows interpretations that Kenneth Lehman's Bolivia and the United States (1999) has already laid out--that policy makers in the Eisenhower White House found it more convenient to use economic aid to undermine a leftward drift in Bolivia rather than pursue a military response like the one that led to the violent overthrow of the Guatemalan government. The author claims to present a subaltern perspective in this study, yet he focuses almost exclusively on how conservative Bolivian politicians and US policy makers ensured that the right wing of the MNR maintained control over policy decisions. Still missing is a good recent synthetic treatment of the MNR, the least studied of Latin America's 20th-century social revolutions, but readers will find much better treatments of this subject in Laura Gotkowitz, A Revolution for Our Rights (CH, Feb'09, 46-3421), S. Sándor John, Bolivia's Radical Tradition (CH, Sept'10, 48-0440), and Robert Smale, "I Sweat the Flavor of Tin" (2010). Summing Up: Optional. Public libraries/general readers. -- M. Becker, Truman State University
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