Book talk: Cooperating with the Colossus
Wednesday, November 2, 3:30-5p.m. (PST)
During the Second World War, the United States built over two hundred defense installations on sovereign soil in Latin America in the name of cooperation in hemisphere defense. In this talk, Rebecca Herman will speak about her new book, Cooperating with the Colossus, which reconstructs this history of US basing in World War II Latin America, from the elegant chambers of the American foreign ministries to the cantinas, courtrooms, plazas, and brothels surrounding US defense sites. Foregrounding the wartime experiences of Brazil, Cuba, and Panama, her book considers how Latin American leaders and diplomats used basing rights as bargaining chips to advance their nation-building agendas with US resources while limiting overreach by the “Colossus of the North” as best they could. Yet conflicts on the ground over labor rights, discrimination, sex, and criminal jurisdiction routinely threatened the peace.
Rebecca Herman is Assistant Professor of History at the University of California, Berkeley, where her research and teaching explore the history of twentieth-century Latin America in a global context.