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The incoherent neighbour: George C. Marshall and US strategy in the Western Hemisphere, 1947-1948

Spokes, Mark (2010)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

The Incoherent Neighbour challenges standard narratives of the early Cold War that identify a neglect of the Western Hemisphere in the initial formulations of containment strategy. Such traditional accounts overlook the integral role of George C. Marshall, during his tenure as Secretary of State, in translating the abstract concepts of containment into the specific context of Latin America. Marshall did not introduce a Cold War framework to the Western Hemisphere however; rather he identified the Western Hemisphere as a particular theatre for an asymmetric response in the psychological struggle with the Soviet Union. Marshall sought to project a positive image of the US and demonstrate a symbolic example of solidarity in its sphere of influence through a renewed commitment to the Good Neighbour Policy. A number of significant tensions left unreconciled ensured that incoherence remained the defining feature of this strategic approach however. Marshall failed to understand that the lessons of the Good Neighbour Policy no longer remained applicable to a region transformed by a rising tide of expectations for political and economic development. The legacies of Marshall as the first global strategist and saviour of Europe are undermined by his unsuccessful strategy in the Western Hemisphere between 1947 and 1948.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Lucas, W. Scott
School/Faculty:Schools (1998 to 2008) > School of Historical Studies
Department:Department of American and Canadian Studies
Subjects:E11 America (General)
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:1152
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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