Stephen Kinzer

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Stephen Kinzer (born August 4, 1951) is an American author, journalist and academic. A former newspaper reporter, the veteran New York Times correspondent has filed stories from more than fifty countries on five continents, as well as published several books.

Reporting career[edit]

During the 1980s Kinzer covered revolution and social upheaval in Central America, as well as published his first book, Bitter Fruit, about military coups and destabilization in Guatemala during the 1950s. In 1990, the New York Times promoted Kinzer to bureau chief of its Berlin bureau, from which he covered the growth of Eastern and Central Europe as they emerged from Soviet rule. Kinzer was the New York Times chief in the newly established bureau in Istanbul (Turkey) from 1996 to 2000.

Upon returning to the United States, Kinzer became the newspaper's culture correspondent, based in Chicago, as well as teaching at Northwestern University. Kinzer then took up residence in Boston and began teaching journalism and United States foreign policy at Boston University. As indicated below, Kinzer has written several non-fiction books about Turkey, Central America, Iran, the US overthrow of foreign governments from the late 19th century to the present, as well as Rwanda's recovery from genocide.

Kinzer also contributes columns to the New York Review of Books and The Guardian. He is a visiting scholar at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University.[1]


Kinzer has opposed interventionist U.S. foreign policy toward Latin America and more recently the Middle East. In a 2010 interview with Imagineer Magazine, he stated:

The effects of U.S. intervention in Latin America have been overwhelming negative. They have had the effect of reinforcing brutal and unjust social systems and crushing people who are fighting for what we would actually call 'American values.' In many cases, if you take Chile, Guatemala, or Honduras for examples, we actually overthrew governments that had principles similar to ours and replaced those democratic, quasi-democratic, or nationalist leaders with people who detest everything the United States stands for.[2]

Kinzer's reporting on Central America is criticized by Herman and Chomsky in their book Manufacturing Consent (1988)

In Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change From Hawaii to Iraq, published in 2006, Kinzer critiqued U.S. foreign policy as overly interventionist.

In his 2008 book A Thousand Hills: Rwanda's Rebirth and the Man who Dreamed It, Kinzer credits President Paul Kagame for the peace, development, and stability that Rwanda has enjoyed in the years after the Rwandan genocide, and criticizes the leaders of Rwanda before the genocide such as Juvenal Habyarimana.


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