Central America was the final place where U.S. and Soviet proxy forces faced off against one another in armed conflict. In The Cold War’s Last Battlefield, Edward A. Lynch blends his own first-hand experiences as a member of the Reagan Central America policy team with interviews of policy makers and exhaustive study of primary source materials, including once-secret government documents, in order to recount these largely forgotten events and how they fit within Reagan’s broader foreign policy goals. Lynch’s narrative reveals a president who was willing to risk both influence and image to aggressively confront Soviet expansion in the region. He also demonstrates how the internal debates between competing sides of the Reagan Administration were really an argument about the basic thrust of U.S. foreign policy, and that they anticipated, to a remarkable degree, policy discussions following the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.
Edward A. Lynch is Professor of Political Science and Chairman of the Political Science Department at Hollins University. He is the author of Starting Over: A Political Biography of George Allen; Latin America’s Christian Democratic Parties: A Political Economy; and Religion and Politics in Latin America: Liberation Theology and Christian Democracy.