Stephen Kinzer was not kidding with the sub-title of his highly praised non-fiction book covering American foreign policy in the 20th century: the Dulles brothers --secretary of state the one, head of the CIA the other-- planned and executed the overthrow of half a dozen mostly democratically elected governments in developing nations from the 1950s on. In a detailed, authoritative and --thankfully-- well-written book, Kinzer, a long-time foreign correspondent and former New York Times bureau chief in Berlin, Nicaragua and Instanbul, lays it out in harrowing detail. Interspersed with the delicious sort of personal and private details about the Dulles brothers that can keep even an easily bored reader turning the page, the author builds up a history of tragic foreign intervention rooted in, among other things, unholy ties between government and corporations. Kinzer pays homage to those who resisted the Dulles brothers' nefarious schemes (including their accomplished sister, Eleanor Dulles), as he describes the delusional pre-occupation with the Communist threat from China and the Soviet Union against the background of a hard-won Second World War. Timing proved of the essence. When President Harry Truman was asked to consider John Foster for a job in his administration, he said, "What, that bastard? Not on your life." But President Dwight Eisenhower, who was convinced that the Second World War was won with the help of spies and secret intelligence operations, made John Foster his secretary of state and Allen director of the CIA. The three of them worked as a foreign-policy team from there on out.
A long-time South End resident, Kinzer is currently a visiting fellow at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University and contributes to the New York Review of Books, the Boston Globe, the Guardian and other news outlets. He will be introduced by his friend, former municipal court judge, Herb Hershfang, who with his wife, Ann, invited him to speak at the library.
Authors coming up next at the South End Library are listed below. The South End Library is fully handicapped accessible. Seating is limited. The author’s books will be available for sale and borrowing. In the next few months, the library will host:
Tuesday, April 8:
Poet Colin D. Halloran, who served with the U.S. Army in Afghanistan in 2006. A former public school teacher, Colin works with students and teachers to find ways in which poetry can inform the media’s and historians’ portrayals of war. His debut collection of poems, Shortly Thereafter, won the 2012 Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award.
Tuesday, April 29:
Anita Shreve, award-winning author of numerous books of fiction, including the international bestseller The Pilot’s Wife, which was made into a movie of the same name and was an Oprah Book Club selection. Her new novel, Stella Bain, has just come out to excellent reviews in the Boston Globe.
Wednesday, May 14:
Pablo Medina, an acclaimed Cuban-American poet (The Man who Wrote on Water) and novelist, whose latest book, Cubop City Blues, just came out in paperback. The South End resident has received fellowships from the Oscar B. Cintas Foundation, state arts councils of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. He is a professor in the Department of Writing, Literature and Publishing at Emerson College.
South End author Wendy Wunder (The Probability of Miracles) will return to talk about her latest novel, due out in April 2014, called The Museum of Intangible Things. She teaches writing at the non-profit writing center, Grub Street, and yoga at various locations in the Boston area.
Tuesday, June 10:
William Landay, award-winning author of crime fiction including the New York Timesbestseller Defending Jacob, The Strangler and Mission Flats.