Date & Time
Friday, October 12, 2018
Free and open to the public
Seminary Co-op Bookstore
Mary Jo McConahay discusses "The Tango War: The Struggle for the Hearts, Minds, and Riches of Latin American During World War II." A Q&A and signing will follow the discussion.
At 57th Street Books
About the book: The gripping and little known story of the fight for the allegiance of Latin America during World War II
"The Tango War" by Mary Jo McConahay fills an important gap in WWII history. Beginning in the thirties, both sides were well aware of the need to control not just the hearts and minds but also the resources of Latin America. The fight was often dirty: residents were captured to exchange for U.S. prisoners of war and rival spy networks shadowed each other across the continent. At all times it was a Tango War, in which each side closely shadowed the other’s steps.
Though the Allies triumphed, at the war’s inception it looked like the Axis would win. A flow of raw materials in the Southern Hemisphere, at a high cost in lives, was key to ensuring Allied victory, as were military bases supporting the North African campaign, the Battle of the Atlantic and the invasion of Sicily, and fending off attacks on the Panama Canal. Allies secured loyalty through espionage and diplomacy—including help from Hollywood and Mickey Mouse—while Jews and innocents among ethnic groups —Japanese, Germans—paid an unconscionable price. Mexican pilots flew in the Philippines and twenty-five thousand Brazilians breached the Gothic Line in Italy. "The Tango War" also describes the machinations behind the greatest mass flight of criminals of the century, fascists with blood on their hands who escaped to the Americas.
About the author: Born in Chicago, Mary Jo McConahay is an award-winning reporter who covered the wars in Central America and economics in the Middle East. She has travelled in seventy countries and has been fascinated by the history of World War II since childhood, when she listened to the stories of her father, a veteran U.S. Navy officer. A graduate (English) of the University of California in Berkeley, she lives with her husband and daughter in San Francisco. She covers Latin America as an independent journalist.