Faking It: U.S. Hegemony in a "Post-Phallic" Era by Cynthia Weber
- Author(s): Maurer, WM
- et al.
This entertaining book provides an account of U.S. policy in the Caribbean from the Eisenhower administration through Clinton's. Cynthia Weber, a political scientist who is clearly pushing the boundaries of her discipline, brings to light the psychoanalytically suggestive pieces of the archival record rather than offering a strict chronicle. She argues that the United States suffered a sort of castration when it "lost" Cuba, that it has been trying to compensate for this loss ever since, and that its efforts to remasculinize ultimately demonstrate its original lack of phallic power, a lack it has to exclude in order for it to remain hegemonic (p. 8). The Caribbean - especially Cuba, but also other places to the extent that they represent repetitions of the United States' Cuban ventures - serves as a constant reminder of the United States' excluded lack, as a mirror through which it sees itself, and a screen on which its insecurities about its own hegemony are projected. Weber cleverly mixes psychoanalytic discourse, wordplay, and insights from feminist and queer theory. At first, some of the more heavily affected prose irritated me. Yet on reflection, the excesses in this text are nothing compared to those of the U.S. political and military class whose words and actions are being examined. The argument is organized around Roland
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