by Sukey HowardOctober, 2006
More than 200 years ago, British statesman Edmund Burke said, Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it. A wise observation that still holds today. One wonders what might have happened or not happened if our current leaders had taken a cue from Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq, Stephen Kinzer's well-researched, fascinating history of the last 110 years of American foreign intervention. Kinzer focuses on only the most extreme cases, 14 in all, where the U.S. arranged to depose foreign leaders. Our century of regime change began in Hawaii in 1893, picked up momentum and support with the Spanish-American War, continued on to Panama, Nicaragua, Honduras, Chile and Iran among others, and now finds us in Iraq. It's all described here in measured prose, mirrored by Michael Prichard's straightforward, newscaster delivery. Seeing these events as a continuum offers the perspective of history with its sad repetitions and sobering conclusions.