The Making of the Good Neighbor Policy by Bryce Wood: A Book Review
The book entitled “The Making of the Good Neighbor Policy,” written by Bryce Wood is a very important piece of document for those who are dealing with the foreign relations of America and other countries, especially that of the Latin American countries. Wood emphasizes that this is not a book the deals with the history of politics or the past of the Good Neighbor Policy but is rather an essay about politics and how the country has formed an alternative to coercive intervention when it comes to its dealings with Latin America. There are three things that served as the focus of the account done by Wood and this includes how the Policy has been created, the acceptance of US to a non-interventionist principle as a result of the sequence of events that happened in Cuba and Nicaragua, and the use of the non-interventionist principle in the cases faced by US oil companies in the countries of Bolivia, Valenzuela, and Mexico.
The attempt of the researcher to provide a deeper understanding of the Good Neighbor Policy has been successfully achieved in this book especially so that it uses an approach of defining and describing instead of usinga historical approach. The extensive research is evident in the volume of information that can be found in every page. It does not simply wish to provide a mere picture of the Policy but actually places the actual accounts into detail and uses this to contribute to the understanding of the Policy. The extent of research that has been done using archives from the State, Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, and other documents in history is a very strong point taken as a strength of this book.
More so, the sections of the book have showcased a deep and critical analysis of the events that surround the Policy. The combination of analysis and research has provided the author the power to create an account that would serve the future generations a comprehensive and easy-to-understand guide on the past policies towards the Latin American countries. The words and terms used in the book allows the readers — historians, common enthusiasts, or politican — to understand the concepts and the ideas found within the book. This particular characteristic of the book enables it to reach a wider set of readers. Thus, the book is seen to have the right mix of research, analysis, and simplicity to provide a concise and logical presentation of the Policy.
However, there are also weakenesses that could be found in the text. First, it lacks a bibliography that should have contained the details of the references consulted by the author in the making of the project. The bibliography would have made the book a more credible account because it shows what has been consulted and presents the authenticity of the claims when one would review the references upon which the book relies on. More so, the bibliograpy would also give the readers the chance to add more to their knowledge as it leads them to read the other references that they find interesting in the book. Second, there are parts in the book where the subjectivity of the author is introduced despite the lack of need for such. Third, it is also observed that some parts of the book exhibites repititiveness.
In its entirety, the book is a good reading for both the academic and political community to enhance their knowledge about the Policy and as a source of information for the purpose of their future decisions.
Bryce, Wood. The Making of the Good Neighbor Policy. New York: Columbia University Press: 1961.