Historian’s Expertise Sought for Program on Guyana

The BBC turned to a UT Dallas historian recently for help with a radio documentary on the destabilization of the British Guiana government in the early 1960s.

Dr. Stephen Rabe’s book, U.S. Intervention in British Guiana: A Cold War, is the first published account of the United States’ massive covert intervention between 1953 and 1969 in the country that is now known as Guyana.

Rabe, a specialist on U.S. foreign relations as well as the history of slavery, is quoted extensively in the 30-minute program.

“President Kennedy was obsessed with the independence movement in British Guiana and the fear that Cheddi Jagan [Premier of British Guiana from 1961 to 1964] would come to power in a new, independent Guiana,” Rabe said. 

The U.S. feared that the premier  “was going to lead Guiana down the road of a new Cuba, or a second Cuba, in the Western Hemisphere,”  he said.

The program was broadcast Aug. 30 but may still be heard in its entirety on the BBC website.

Rabe holds the Arts and Humanities Endowed Chair in UT Dallas’ School of Arts and Humanities.  His work has been recognized with grants, awards, and prizes from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Historical Association, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation, the Rockefeller Archive Center, the Eleanor Roosevelt Institute, the Harvey O. Johnson Prize, the Stuart L. Bernath Prize from the Society of Historians of American Foreign Relations, and the Bernath Lecture Prize. He has also held a Fulbright Distinguished Chair and the Bicentennial Chair in American Studies at the University of Helsinki.

Dr. Stephen Rabe holds the Arts and Humanities Endowed Chair at UT Dallas.

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