Cıa, Russia

Cıa, Russia

Spies, Paranoia, Revolution, and the Rise of American Empire

A new book explains how the Cold War turned America’s aspiration of being a global “beacon of freedom” morphed into an empire

9/16/2020 3:02:00 PM

A new book explains how the Cold War turned America’s aspiration of being a global “beacon of freedom” morphed into an empire

A new book explains how the Cold War turned America’s aspiration of being a global “beacon of freedom” morphed into an empire

Bridgeman ImagesBefore he was a journalist and a novelist, before he was a globe-trotting war correspondent and a historian with an eye for ordinary people that led extraordinary lives, Scott Anderson was a child of the Cold War. His father worked for the State Department, which took the Anderson family to South Korea, Taiwan, and Indonesia. All three countries were located on the new fault lines of the geopolitical struggle between the United States and the Soviet Union, anti-communism and communism, the “Yanks” and the “Reds.”

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As a kid, Anderson watched his father grow disillusioned with his country’s crusade against communism and the folly of the Vietnam War. But Anderson himself didn’t fully grasp the contradictions, hubris, and stupidity of the American empire’s obsession with anti-communism until the spring of 1984, when he watched a young woman’s body dumped and retrieved with grim efficiency by a group of soldiers on a side street in San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador. At the time, the Reagan administration was backing the right-wing Salvadoran government in its war against leftist rebels, yet another front in the anti-communism campaign. The incident planted a simple question in Anderson’s mind: How had it come to this?

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