UNITED STATES PENETRATION OF BRAZIL by Jan Knippers Black

UNITED STATES PENETRATION OF BRAZIL

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Another volume on Yankee malfeasance in Latin America might seem rather ho-hum. But this is an in-depth study of a little-studied matter: US public and private influence before, during, and after the Brazilian military coup of 1964, According to Black, an American University professor, the overthrown president, Joao Goulart, had wanted to expand Brazil's production and initiate an ""independent"" foreign policy; the US promptly cut off credits--only to restore them hours after his fall. Implicated in the coup itself are deputy US attache (and later CIA official) Vernon Walters, a close friend of the new President, Castelo Branco; but far more broadly, Black alleges that a group of US corporations and policy-makers built a network of domestic business contacts geared to dismantling the nationalized sector and increasing outflows of wealth to the North. The military had been trained by the US in population control, she claims, to the degree that even the Brazilian nationalists among them saw civilians as ""the enemy,"" and could be manipulated on that basis. Black's diction is unfailingly academic, even ironically so--as when she suggests that the anti-democratic trend on the continent ""might be an indication in part of the efficiency of US influence rather than lack of it""; yet the book has real suspense as she moves from a review of the social-science literature on ""penetration"" to the mounting details of the coup and the concentric circles of decision-making around it. This important study is not a mere work of protest, but of inquiry.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1977
Publisher: Univ. of Pennsylvania Press