READING NOTES--Roorda book


The key question for the first chapter we read (31-63) centers around the concept of nonintervention: did the US actually expect military dictatorships to come to power as a result of the noninterventionist policy, or was this an unanticipated side effect?

pp. 31-33: read closely; sums up early section of argument. Young quote on p. 33 is a great quote: what is its significance?
pp. 34-42: skim provided that you get a sense of the chaotic nature of Dominican politics at the time, and the remarkable amount of power accrued by Trujillo
pp. 42-47: read closely--ask yourself why the Americans consistently underestimated Rafael Trujillo. Also, were there policy options that the US could have pursued that might have produced a Trujillo-less Dominican Republic?
pp. 48-55: read closely--how had the issue of diplomatic recognition changed (if at all) from the other periods at which we've looked in this course?
pp. 55-59--skim
pp. 60-63: Cabot quote. We'll start class Thursday with this--why does Roorda reproduce it? What was so significant about it?


2d chapter: pp. 88-126

pp. 88-90: read closely. What is the basic interpretation Roorda has of the GNP?
pp. 90-102: skim. Some of this borders on the absurd and is funny, in a perverse way, to read--get a sense of exactly what a megalomaniac Trujillo was.
pp. 102-106: read closely. Why did the anti-Trujillo movement in the US not attract the same degree of American sympathy that had, say, the Union Patriotique in the 1920s?
pp. 106-110: fluff, but good light reading.
pp. 110-114: extremely important section. What was the central characteristic of the "Dominican Lobby"?
pp. 114-122: you can skim this, but it gets at a question we have been addressing all term; namely, how can we, as students of history, determine the impact of necessarily amorphous concepts like culture?
pp. 122-126: skim, but what does this affair say about the limits of the Good Neighbor Policy?

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