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September 1991
308 pages  

6 x 9
9780822985303
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Unequal Giants
Diplomatic Relations between the United States and Brazil, 1889-1930
Smith, Joseph
In 1889 the Brazilian empire was overthrown in a military coup. The goodwill and assistance of the United States to the young republic of Brazil helped forge an alliance. But America's apparently irresistible political and economic advances into Brazil were also hampered by disagreements-over naval armaments, reciprocity arrangements, the issue of coffee valorization, and in the 1920s over Brazil's efforts to play an active role in the League of Nations at Geneva. The relationship proved to be unequal, with the United States gaining influence in Latin America, as the Brazilian elite's ambitions and vanities were fed.

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Joseph Smith is associate professor in American diplomatic history at the University of Exeter.
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Pitt Latin American Series
Latin America/History
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In 1889 the Brazilian empire was overthrown in a military coup. The goodwill and assistance of the United States to the young republic of Brazil helped forge an alliance. But America's apparently irresistible political and economic advances into Brazil were also hampered by disagreements-over naval armaments, reciprocity arrangements, the issue of coffee valorization, and in the 1920s over Brazil's efforts to play an active role in the League of Nations at Geneva. The relationship proved to be unequal, with the United States gaining influence in Latin America, as the Brazilian elite's ambitions and vanities were fed.
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“What stands out about Smith's book is how it reveals policy patterns and trends that sharply parallel later policy thinking and development on both sides. . . . What strikes this reviewer after reading Smith's book is how little U.S. Latin American policy, the rhetoric and the actions, really changed during the twentieth century.”—Diplomatic History

“In a clear, readable style, Professor Smith provides a succinct discussion of the vicissitudes of political and commercial negotiations between the United States and Brazil from the early days of the Pan-American movement to the Revolution of 1930.”—The Americas

“This is a fine addition to the shelf of books on hemispheric relations, for Smith has diligently and judiciously plumbed Brazilian as well as American documents, memoirs, newspapers, and monographs, and his detailed judgments are balanced and sound. . . . American readers of Smith's book will better appreciate the modern problems confronting the two nations since 1930.”—American Historical Review

“”Unequal giants, indeed! . . . Although Brazil repeatedly sought an approximation of equality with the U.S. because of the two nations' common linguistic and cultural alienation from Spanish America, it retreated to a resentful and determined nationalism each time it was rebuffed by a State Department unwilling to endanger its broader hemispheric interests. . . . Altogether a nasty little story, well told, of enduring utility and consequence.”—Pacific Historical Review


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