Crystal Eastman, "New Analytical Tools:
Raising Questions about Old Ideas"

4

of knowledge," which was "imaginary for legitimizing the expansionist project."5 In other words, pursuing South America in the name of expertise validated and united all U.S. interests. Everything was done under the cloak of this discourse.

Salvatore goes on to explain the complex way in which "South America" was constructed by different professionals and "interpretive communities" via representational machines such as health organizations, newspapers, books and travel agencies.6 In doing so, he unveils the varied U.S. interests in the region that fell under the "enterprise of knowledge." Health officials, journalists, businessman, artists, travelers, labor organizers, and other such interest groups all traveled to South America in pursuit of information. When these people returned they presented their idea of South America through representational machines. Hence "South America" became a construction in North Americans' minds, invented by the interest groups and professionals who wanted to create an image of South America in the public's mind in order to further their own interests. This is an exciting way of deconstructing the "U.S." because it breaks down the monolithic idea of the U.S. into smaller interest groups, showing that all of the U.S. was not involved in Latin America.

While Salvatore is not arguing against the dependency or imperialist theories, his approach nonetheless has implications for them. He suggests that these theories, with their focus on politics and economics, have overlooked the other ways that the U.S. has intervened in Latin America.7 Furthermore, his "enterprise of knowledge" slant on U.S. interests suggests that the U.S. interests were shaped first by a quest for knowledge, rather than primarily by political or economic interests.


5. Salvatore, 69.
6. Ibid., 72.
7. Ibid., 74
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