ENGINES OF CHANGE by George C. Lodge


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An important, debatable, and very accessible study of Latin America by a former member of the Eisenhower administration and the author of Spearheads of Democracy (1962). As a memorandum by a representative of specific U.S. interests (Lodge holds a forthright brief for Grace Lines), it is broader and sharper than, e.g., Lincoln Gordon's, which Lodge quotes. And its prescriptions have greater specificity and cunning than recent proposals from Barbara Ward and other liberals whose grim prognosis Lodge seconds without discussing their writings. In addition to its overviews the book presents a case study of social change in Panama (and a dubious outline of progress in Northeastern Brazil), analyses of the Cuban Revolution's character and the Alliance for Progress's failure, and theoretical remarks about ""engines of change."" What Lodge hopes for is not just aid-and-trade expansion but organizational and administrative transformations. In order to bypass and actively contest the entrenched, incompetent Latin American elites who are blocking ""peaceful change,"" new institutions are required. In order to build an infrastructure for modern capitalist and state-capitalist development, it is necessary to co-opt the non-Communist Left (peasant and student movements, radical Catholics) and help them stir things in a favorable direction with the help of the rising Christian Democratic parties and foreign investors. The book is in short one of the most interesting applications of enlightened conservatism to appear on this subject.

Pub Date: Feb. 27th, 1970
Publisher: Knopf