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Annual History Lecture: Reading U.S.-Latin American Relations in the Age of Wikileaks

Dr. Greg Grandin, professor of Latin American History at New York University will present “The Elephant and the Empire: Reading U.S.-Latin American Relations in the Age of Wikileaks”

Tuesday, March 22 at 7:00pm in Kinsella Auditorium.

One of the world’s leading scholars of modern Latin America will deliver this year’s Annual History Lecture at St. Thomas University.

In his lecture, Dr. Grandin will discuss what exactly the hundreds of so-far released Wikileaks diplomatic cables concerning Latin America tell us about U.S. foreign policy in the region, particularly in relation to Washington’s response to the rise of the New Latin American Left.

Dr. Grandin contends that in this age of civic society democracy promotion, opaque corporate power, and Pentagon diplomacy, State Department documents are actually the last place one would look to try to understand US foreign relations. But when it comes to exercising U.S. power in the world, separating the parts from the whole has always been key to the smooth functioning of the whole.

Reading Wikileaks cables against the grain, says Dr. Grandin, shows how this has been the case and why, perhaps, it is no longer so.

“It is a great honour for the department to host Dr. Grandin, one of the world’s leading experts on U.S.-Latin American relations and an extremely engaging public speaker,” says Dr. Karen Robert, Chair of the History Department at St. Thomas.

“This talk is one example of the history department’s efforts to introduce our students and the broader STU community to global perspectives on the past and present.”

Greg Grandin has been a frequent guest on Democracy Now! and has appeared on The Charlie Rose Show.  He is a prolific writer covering US foreign policy, Latin America, genocide and human rights, and has been published in The New York Times, Harper’s Magazine, The London Review of Books, The Nation, The Boston Review, The Los Angeles Times, and The American Historical Review. His latest book, Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford’s Forgotten Jungle City (2009), was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

To learn more about Greg Grandin and his research, visit