Perez views the various economic, political and diplomatic methods used by the United States government to exert hegemony over Cuba from 1913-1921. He also examines the political turmoil and collapse of the traditional Cuban party structure, as candidates were forced to forge alliances with the U.S.
Perez' book is the most scholarly yet written about this important eight-year period in Cuban-American relations. More than that, it presents one of the clearest analyses of how the Platt Amendment both dominated and distorted the Cuban political system.
The author packs a lot of information into this rather specialized study. He deftly clarifies the competition between insurgent Cuban Liberals and their Conservative opponents, and he demonstrates how both groups sought to channel U.S. fears of Cuban disorder to their own advantage. Equally well does Perez uncover the often murky economic interests of American corporations and officials. Indeed, his section about Norman H. Davis, who served in both high Treasury and State Department posts until 1921 while enriching himself from more than thirty economic projects in Cuba, is fascinating. . . . this is first-rate historical analysis.