Strategy, Security, and Spies

Mexico and the U.S. as Allies in World War II

By (author) María Emilia Paz

Paperback - £33.95

Publication date:

12 August 1997

Length of book:

276 pages


Penn State University Press

ISBN-13: 9780271016665

Faced with the possibility of being drawn into a war on several fronts, the United States sought to win Mexican support for a new strategy of Hemispheric Security, based on defense collaboration by governments throughout the Americas. U.S. leaders were concerned that Mexico might become a base for enemy operations, a scenario that, given the presence of pro-Axis lobbies in Mexico and the rumored fraternization between Mexico and Germany in World War I, seemed far from implausible in 1939–41.

Strategy, Security, and Spies tells the fascinating story of U.S. relations with Mexico during the war years, involving everything from spies and internal bureaucratic struggles in both countries to all sorts of diplomatic maneuverings. Although its focus is on the interactions of the two countries, relative to the threat posed by the Axis powers, a valuable feature of the study is to show how Mexico itself evolved politically in crucial ways during this period, always trying to maintain the delicate balance between the divisive force of Mexican nationalism and the countervailing force of economic dependency and security self-interest.

“María Emilia Paz has written a compelling, informative, and scholarly assessment of a crucial period in Mexican-American relations. Her eloquent and meticulous analysis opens the door for further research on general and specialized topics. Scholars of Latin American studies; military, diplomatic, or economic history; international relations or political science; or whose interests encompass American culture, or are more focused—say on espionage, propaganda, or submarines—will find significant, well-documented discussions based upon primary source materials. Latin America’s unique relationships with the United States during the Cold War are also placed into a clearer perspective by reading this volume.”

—Charles C. Kolb, Journal of American Culture