While it may appear that the United States and Peru share little more than a hemisphere, Lawrence A. Clayton reveals a long history of interactions between the two countries. In tracking their relations since the early nineteenth century, he tells how each influenced the other and addresses not only political and economic issues but also the social and cultural factors that helped shape relations. Taking a long historical view, Clayton tells of major players like railroad entrepreneur Henry Meiggs and industrialist William Grace; of the role of American firms like Cerro de Pasco and International Petroleum; and of the height of American influence in the 1920s under the leadership of Peruvian president Augusto B. Leguía. In addition, he describes how the War of the Pacific with Chile affected Peru's march toward modernization, and assesses the legacy of the Peruvian Institutional Revolution of 1968. He also covers such contemporary topics as the cocaine trade, the Shining Path guerrilla movement, and President Alberto Fujimori's economic programs, helping readers realize the depth—and future—of Peruvian-U.S. relations.
There is a nice balance in [Peru and the United States] between the 19th and 20th centuries, and, more critically, the political/economic imbroglios common to U.S.-Latin American relations and the myriad social and cultural interchanges between the two countries. Clayton knows Peru well, and it shows . . . . He is alert to the nuances and sometimes infuriating complexities of the Peruvian-U.S. relationship.
—Lester Langley, author of America and the Americas