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Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination

Masters of War

Latin America and U.S. Agression From the Cuban Revolution Through the Clinton Years

by Clara Nieto and Howard Zinn

Book cover for Masters of War
Book cover for Masters of WarBook cover for Masters of War

Foreword by Howard Zinn

Translated by Chris Brandt

In Masters of War, Clara Nieto adeptly presents the parallel histories of the countries of Latin America, histories which are intertwined, each reflecting the United States' "coherent policy of intervention set into motion by the Monroe Doctrine." As the value of this continued policy comes increasingly into question, Nieto argues for the need to evaluate the alarming precedent set in Latin America: the institution of client dictatorships, the roles played by the interests of U.S. corporations, the enormous tolls taken on civilian populations, and the irreversible disruption of regional stability.

Drawing from an impressive array of documents and sources as well as from her unique first-hand insights as a participant in crucial meetings and negotiations in the region from the mid-1960s through the mid-1980s, Nieto chronicles the Cuban Revolution, the CIA-sponsored coup against popularly elected President Allende in Chile, the U.S. invasions of Panama and Grenada, U.S. support for the cultivation and training of paramilitary death squads in Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Colombia, as well as similarly severe but less well-known situations in other countries such as Uruguay, Venezuela, Argentina, Peru, Bolivia, Honduras, and Guatemala.

Clara Nieto's Masters of War first appeared in Colombia, where it became a national best-seller. Available here for the first time in English, it has been revised and expanded to address new developments in U.S. and Latin American politics such as the conflicts in the Middle East, the U.S. rejection of the International Criminal Court, recent controversies over globalization, and the new governments of Chavez and Uribe in Venezuela and Colombia.

Book cover for Masters of War
Book cover for Masters of WarBook cover for Masters of War

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“This book, by the distinguished Latin American writer Clara Nieto, is exactly what is needed to supply the missing context for the superficial stories we find in the mass media, and for the paltry treatment of Latin America we get in our educational system. We in the United States need badly to hear a Latin American point of view, and here we have it from a scholar of international repute. Ms. Nieto provides us with a sweeping history of U.S. relations with Latin America. She begins and ends with Cuba, giving it special attention, but also displays her solid knowledge of the rest of the continent. Her account, based on meticulous research and presented with clarity and grace, will be enormously useful for a long time to come.”

“The study of U.S. interactions with Latin America is indispensable if we hope to pursue the wise counsel to 'know thyself.' Clara Nieto's comprehensive and illuminating study provides an unusual and valuable guide, from a Latin American perspective, focused on Cuba but ranging widely and drawing from rich literature and personal knowledge.”

“With great clarity, ample information and first-hand experience, Clara Nieto analyzes and demonstrates the immense impact of the Cuban phenomenon in the difficult and contradictory ties between Washington and the continent.”

blog — March 03

Bill Proposed to Ban Howard Zinn from Arkansas Public Schools

It's come to our attention that Arkansas State Representative Kim Hendren has recently proposed a bill to ban all books by or about Howard Zinn from use in public schools and open-enrollment charter schools throughout the state.

We'll track how it fares over the next few months. For now, we can just hope it does what such silly attempts at censorship tend to do these days: drive up sales! Check out some great Zinn titles from SSP below. And if you're from Arkansas, drop us a line at to see if we can't arrange a special Zinn deal for you.

Check out the House Bill 1834 here.

h/t to Raw Story.

Clara Nieto

Clara Nieto is a career diplomat who served in the Colombian mission to the United Nations from 1960–1967, was head of the Colombian Delegation at UNESCO, Paris, from 1967–1970, was Colombian Chargé d'Affairs in Yugoslavia from 1970-1976, was Colombian Ambassador to Cuba from 1977–1980, and from 1984–1986 served as Director of UNESCO's regional office for Latin America and the Caribbean in Havana. Her writing has appeared in many Colombian newspapers including El Tiempo, El Espectador, and El Mundo. Nieto lives in New York City and Bogotà, Colombia.

Howard Zinn

HOWARD ZINN’s (1922–2010) great subject isn’t war, but peace. After his experience as a bombardier in World War II, he became convinced that there could be no such thing as a “just war,” as the vast majority of modern warfare’s victims are made up of innocent civilians. In his books, including A People’s History of the United States and its companion volume, Voices of a People’s History of the United States, Zinn affirms the power of the masses to influence major events. Through a lifetime of pointed scholarship and principled civil disobedience, his oeuvre continues to inform and inspire activists, scholars, and change-makers around the world.

Check out A Road Map to Howard Zinn's Writings Published by Seven Stories Press here.

Other books by Clara Nieto