CARLETON BEALS: A Radical Journalist in Latin America by John A. Britton

CARLETON BEALS: A Radical Journalist in Latin America

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With the recent attention given to the struggle between the contras and the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, it is easy to lose sight of how far back the Sandinistas go. Beals, the subject of this journalistic biography, interviewed Augusto Cesar Sandino (who gave his name to the movement) on February 3, 1928, and Beals' subsequent series on Sandino in The Nation made Beals a leading spokesman for anti-imperialism. It also pegged him among US government officials as a meddler in inter-American affairs. The truth is, he was a little bit of both. Britton renders Beaks' career, which spanned the 1920's through the 1960's, heavily via Beals' own writings. Throughout that time, Beats insisted that Washington, using military intervention, economic and diplomatic intimidation, and covert manipulation in its dealings with Latin America, was involved in nothing less than imperialism. Despite his leftist credentials, Beals' fiercely independent nature caused him to eschew institutional affiliations. Thus, while he was able to take advantage of free-lance connections with such figures as Herbert Croly and Carey McWilliams, some leftist associates of the time considered him only to be a fringe figure for his lack of institutional zeal. Beals' major books, The Coming Struggle for Latin America and Dawn Over the Amazon, were aimed, for the most part, at ""intellectuals, politicians, government officials, academics, and businessmen who had some connection with Latin America."" That is more than can be said for his biographer. The most he can count on are those few intellectuals and academics interested in the story of a peripheral figure.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1987
Publisher: Univ. of New Mexico Press