As Latin America becomes more differentiated, with many countries surging ahead while some lag behind, and as the region’s governments veer off in a variety of ideological directions, it is becoming notoriously difficult to generalize about inter-American relations. It is more manageable to speak of U.S. relations country by country. So Domínguez and Fernández de Castro (now Mexican President Felipe Calderón’s national security adviser) have understandably served up a collection of separate -- and in each case credible -- essays on Argentina (Roberto Russell), Brazil (Monica Hirst), Chile (Claudia Fuentes Julio and Francisco Rojas Aravena), Colombia (Cynthia Arnson and Arlene Tickner), Peru (Cynthia McClintock and Fabián Vallas), and Venezuela (Carlos Romero and Javier Corrales). Cristina Eguizábal and Anthony Maingot ably handle Central America and the Caribbean, respectively. Dominguez’s overview establishes four themes to provide coherence, with partial success: “balancing” against the United States, the rise of China, the breakdown of ideological consensus, and the securitization of U.S. policies. Notwithstanding its emphasis on the George W. Bush years, the volume marvelously responds to the prayers of college professors searching for concise and accessible accounts of contemporary bilateral policies in our hemisphere.
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