The three distinguished editors of this collection have produced a balanced overview of the Obama administration’s Latin America policy. The volume describes the high hopes that Barack Obama’s election engendered throughout the region and skillfully lays out why the honeymoon is waning: although Obama has significantly altered U.S. policy in the region, the change has been less than Latin America (and these writers) would have liked. The chapters written by non-U.S. scholars are particularly lucid and should help readers understand why Latin Americans feel so disillusioned with the United States. The book eschews a hemisphere-wide grand strategy in favor of engagement on select issues, a more modest approach than one usually finds in books about U.S. policy. Even as policymakers in Washington confront unprecedented challenges to U.S. interests around the world, attempt to revive a sputtering U.S. economy, and brace themselves for the upcoming presidential election, they would do well to heed this book’s spot-on recommendations for U.S. policy toward the restless region to their south.
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