Guantánamo, USA: The Untold History of America's Cuban Outpost
Stephen Irving Max Schwab. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 2009. 367 pp. Illus. Appens. Notes. Bib. Index. $34.95.
Reviewed by Alan McPherson
Among the hundreds of U.S. overseas military establishments, the naval base in Guantánamo, Cuba-known as "Gitmo," derived from its acronym GTMO-is unusual. It is not only the first overseas U.S. base but also the only one where Washington maintains no diplomatic relations. Its various roles are what Stephen Schwab investigates in this broadly researched, carefully argued book.
Schwab fills a substantial gap in scholarship on the subject; little exists in monograph form. Thus the author is able to narrate Gitmo's great milestones: its conception and birth after 1898, the political struggles from 1903 to 1933, its expansion during World War II, the postwar ideological line in the sand, and its recent role as a site of political polarization.