In this book Professor Langley completes the history of diplomatic relations between the United States and the Caribbean that he began with Struggle for the American Mediterranean: United States-European Rivalry in the Gulf-Caribbean 1776-1904. Like the preceding volume, the present work will be of value to students and laymen who wish a good overview of United States-Caribbean relations, based on research in a wide variety of secondary sources in English and Spanish. Yet the book has its share of weaknesses. Langley correctly points out in the beginning of the study that “the character of American policy in the Caribbean was shaped in large part by the postwar experience in Cuba” (p. 17). It is, therefore, unfortunate that his discussion of the Platt Amendment is superficial, and that he fails to come to grips with the major reasons for Cuban objections to having the amendment forced upon them. Leonard Wood, the military governor of Cuba (whom Langley uncritically admires), gave that reason when he wrote to President Theodore Roosevelt: “There is, of course, little or no independence left Cuba under the Platt Amendment.” But Langley does not mention Wood’s observation.

Although Langley devotes about three pages to Augusto C. Sandino, his discussion is confusing. For one thing, it tells the reader very little that when Carleton Beals interviewed the Nicaraguan guerrilla leader, “Sandino gained still more publicity among the American public” (p. 122). No one would know from this that Beals punctured the American charge that Sandino was simply a “bandit” who had no following among the Nicaraguan people. Moreover, since Langley does refer to the “American public,” he should at least have mentioned the antiimperialist movement that opposed United States intervention in Nicaragua.

It is probably asking too much of a book that covers so wide a scope to deal with each event thoroughly. It is difficult, however, to understand developments leading to the overthrow of the brutal dictator, Gerardo Machado, and the Cuban crisis of 1933, when the first mention of the Cuban Communist party is after Ramón Grau San Martín has replaced Machado.

Langley sees the Caribbean empire of the United States, created in the aftermath of the war with Spain, disintegrating by 1970. He attributes this in part to the impact of the Cuban revolution led by Fidel Castro. He sees the Cuban-Soviet threat to the empire not in the first place as military. Rather he places greatest stress on psychological factors. He discerns an emerging “Caribbean consciousness,” which is rejecting United States political and economic values. There is much of value in this analysis, but so long as American economic power is still able (as Langley concedes it is) to exert powerful influences on governments in the Caribbean, it will take more than psychological influences to achieve a truly independent Caribbean.