In This Review

The Soft War: The Uses And Abuses Of U.S. Economic Aid In Central America
The Soft War: The Uses And Abuses Of U.S. Economic Aid In Central America
By Tom Barry and Deb Preusch
Grove Press, 1988, 304 pp

In the first half of the 1980s, U.S. economic assistance to Central America increased five times as fast as military aid. This muckraking study argues that U.S. economic aid is "intervention with a smile"; that the poor majorities of Central America would be far better off without U.S. economic aid; and that U.S. assistance programs help make peaceful revolutions impossible and violent ones inevitable. The approach reflects the extreme polarization of the national debate on Central America.