His latest and upcoming books are: Drugs and Thugs: The History and Future of America’s War on Drugs (Yale University Press, 2020); (with Britta Crandall) “Our Hemisphere”?: The United States in Latin America, from 1776 to the 21st Century (Yale). He is currently writing a book on politics and revolution in Latin America since 1492. Crandall received his BA from Bowdoin College (1994, summa cum laude) and MA and PhD (1998, 2000, highest honors) from Johns Hopkins University.
His books include: The Salvador Option: The United States in El Salvador, 1977-1992 (Cambridge University Press, 2016) America’s Dirty Wars: Irregular Warfare from 1776 to the War on Terror (Cambridge, 2014); The United States and Latin America after the Cold War (Cambridge, 2008); Driven by Drugs: U.S. Policy Toward Colombia (Lynne Rienner, 2nd edition, 2008); Gunboat Democracy: U.S. Interventions in the Dominican Republic, Grenada, and Panama (Rowman & Littlefield, 2006).
“In this important and well-reasoned study, a former Bush administration official audaciously takes on the academic orthodoxy to defend three U.S. military interventions in the Caribbean basin. Crandall holds no brief for some previous U.S. meddling — he does not wish to defend the U.S. role in Guatemala in 1954 or in Chile in 1973 — but in the three cases under review, he finds that senior U.S. policymakers, using the available intelligence and their understanding of the U.S. geopolitical interests of the day, acted honorably and effectively. Furthermore, and contrary to the view that freedom can never be imposed by force, the three target nations are all now functioning democracies. Skeptics will question whether Crandall is too quick to accept the judgments of the intelligence services and to honor the geopolitical acumen of past policymakers. He also underplays the political attraction for U.S. presidents of low-cost muscle flexing in small nearby countries. And in his focus on imminent threats and the risks of inaction, Crandall may be seeing events through the lens of contemporary political debates. Nevertheless, “Gunboat Democracy “is a significant contribution and a compelling revisionist counterweight to the prevailing literature.”