Our Sister Republics: The United States in an Age of American Revolutions (Liveright), by Caitlin Fitz
Nov. 15, 2016
Simón Bolívar, who liberated much of South America from Spanish rule in the early 19th century, declared that the U.S. was “destined by Providence to plague America with miseries in the name of Liberty.” Northwestern University history professor Caitlin Fitz quotes Bolívar to illustrate the often-fraught relations between Latin America and the U.S. in Our Sister Republics, a carefully researched study intended for a wide audience. Many U.S. citizens celebrated the revolutions that swept through the lands to the south as echoes of their own war for independence; others derided Latin America for being multi-racial, Roman Catholic and, in many areas, anti-slavery. Increasingly the U.S. saw Latin America as a region to be dominated, with skepticism over the ability of Latinos to rule themselves based on popular stereotypes. The anti-Mexican rhetoric of Donald Trump shows that the arguments of two centuries ago haven’t ended.