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Thomas C. Mann: President Johnson, the Cold War, and the Restructuring of Latin American Foreign Policy

by Thomas Tunstall Allcock

Availablecloth$60.00x 978-0-8131-7615-4
Studies in Conflict, Diplomacy, and Peace
294 pages  Pubdate: 12/07/2018  6 x 9  21 b&w photos

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Lyndon Johnson was often blamed for abandoning Kennedy’s vision of development and progress in Latin America in favor of his own domestic concerns: anti-communism and economic stability. Johnson, along with his fellow Texan and chief adviser on inter-American affairs Thomas C. Mann, nonetheless offered a vision for American engagement with the developing world even as congressional funding and public enthusiasm for such programs waned and Johnson’s presidency collapsed under the weight of the Vietnam War.

This book explores Lyndon Johnson’s Latin American policy, from his key advisers to development programs and military interventions, to establish a new perspective on the impact of a complex and controversial president on a tumultuous period in the history of the Western Hemisphere. Demonstrating that much of the negative coverage of their efforts emerged from disgruntled Kennedy loyalists, Tunstall Allcock argues that Johnson and Mann were both New Dealers who possessed a keen desire to operate as good neighbors and support Latin American development and regional integration while dealing with domestic pressure from both right and left.

Based on extensive primary research in multiple archives, this much-needed book provides a crucial exploration of how inter-American relations transitioned from the enthusiasm and excitement of the Kennedy years to the neglect and frustration of the Nixon presidency.

Thomas Tunstall Allcock is lecturer in American history at the University of Manchester. He has published articles in journals including Diplomatic History and the Journal of Cold War Studies and contributed a chapter to US Presidential Elections and Foreign Policy: Candidates, Campaigns, and Global Politics from FDR to Bill Clinton.

Masterfully written and restrained, Allcock’s manuscript is a rich tapestry in which the complex political life of Thomas Mann is revealed. This is the political biography of Thomas Mann that our field has been waiting on for many years. -- Thomas C. Field Jr., author of From Development to Dictatorship: Bolivia and the Alliance for Progress in the Kennedy Era

Restrained and masterfully written, Tunstall Allcock’s manuscript is a rich tapestry onto which the complex political life of Thomas Mann is revealed. This is the political biography of Thomas Mann that our field has been waiting on for many years. -- Dr. Thomas C. Field, Jr., author of From Development to Dictatorship: Bolivia and the Alliance for Progress in the Kennedy Era

In this excellent study, Thomas Tunstall Allcock provides a much-needed reappraisal of US policy in Latin America during Lyndon Johnson’s presidency. By challenging the received wisdom on both Thomas Mann and LBJ, the book sheds new light on this understudied period in inter-American relations and successfully offers a corrective to works that have downplayed the importance of Johnson’s presidency in this part of the world. Meticulously researched and fluently written, Tunstall Allcock’s book will undoubtedly become one of the finest studies on inter-American relations during the Johnson years. -- Bevan Sewell, author of Eisenhower, Kennedy, and US Economic Policy in Latin America

Accounts of US–Latin American relations during the Cold War have often assigned a central role to Thomas Mann. Until now, though, no historian has delved deeply into Mann’s ideas and career. Thomas Tunstall Allcock’s penetrating study examines Mann in all his complexity and, in the process, brings unprecedented sophistication to the study of US policymaking across the turbulent 1960s.  -- Mark Atwood Lawrence, author of The Vietnam War: A Concise International History

Thomas Tunstall Allcock has written an insightful book about a complicated figure. Thomas C. Mann has long been characterized as an architect of US imperialism in Latin America, but Tunstall Allcock uncovers a more surprising and unexpected person. This is an important book that challenges many of our assumptions about America's Cold War. -- Andrew Preston, author of Sword of the Spirit, Shield of Faith: Religion in American War and Diplomacy