Journal Article

Becoming “Mr. Latin America”: Thomas C. Mann Reconsidered

Thomas Tunstall Allcock

in Diplomatic History

Volume 38, issue 5, pages 1017-1045
Published in print November 2014 | ISSN: 0145-2096
Published online September 2013 | e-ISSN: 1467-7709 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/dh/dht116

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This article provides a new perspective on Thomas C. Mann, a Foreign Service officer best known for serving as Lyndon Johnson’s assistant secretary of state for inter-American affairs and coordinator of the Alliance for Progress. Mann is commonly portrayed as unsympathetic toward aiding Latin American development, often accused of dismantling John F. Kennedy’s idealistic aid initiative, the Alliance for Progress, supporting repressive regimes, and vigorously promoting U.S. private investment throughout the hemisphere. By focusing on Mann’s early career, up to and including the Kennedy–Johnson transition, this article seeks to undermine the common image of Mann, revealing instead a dedicated Latin Americanist who consistently advocated aiding hemispheric development. A more accurate understanding of Thomas Mann can provide a starting point for rethinking assessments of the Alliance for Progress, a crucial presidential transition, and Lyndon Johnson’s Latin American record.

Journal Article.  14337 words. 

Subjects: United States History ; Diplomatic History ; International History