Greytown, Great Power Politics, and History’s Grey Areas

Painting of the bombardment of Greytown

Tyler R. Smotherman reviews Will Soper’s “Greytown Is No More!” The 1854 Razing of a Central American port, the U.S. Businesses Behind Its Demise, and the Lasting Foreign Policy Legacy, which looks at the cause of Greytown’s destruction and takes a critical look at the court’s subsequent ruling in Durand v. Hollins.

Smotherman praises the way Soper vividly revisits the historical events surrounding Greytown and casts new light on the cause of its destruction. Although, Smotherman finds Soper’s legal analysis of Durand more lacking than his historical discussion, concluding that Soper goes too far in his appraisal of the case’s influence and in his desire to limit Presidential war-making powers.

But overall, Smotherman recommends Soper’s work, endorsing it as the “the single most comprehensive examination” of Greytown’s destruction and an engaging read.

By Tyler Smotherman

J.D., Texas Tech University; M.A. Political Science, Washington State University; B.A. Political Science and International Studies, University of Idaho. Tyler is an Assistant District Attorney in Texas as well as an incoming law clerk for the Hon. Wes Hendrix (US District Court, NDTX) and the Hon. Ryan Nelson (US Court of Appeals, 9th Cir.). He served as an Army officer for 10 years (CPT, MP, ARNG). Fluent in Spanish, Tyler has traveled and worked throughout Central America.

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