The Tango War

The Struggle for the Hearts, Minds and Riches of Latin America During World War II
Narrated by: Elizabeth Wiley
Length: 12 hrs and 13 mins
Categories: History, 20th Century
4 out of 5 stars (22 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

The Tango War by Mary Jo McConahay fills an important gap in World War II history. Beginning in the '30s, both sides were well aware of the need to control not just the hearts and minds but also the resources of Latin America. The fight was often dirty: Residents were captured to exchange for US prisoners of war and rival spy networks shadowed each other across the continent. At all times, it was a Tango War, in which each side closely shadowed the other's steps.

Though the Allies triumphed, at the war's inception it looked like the Axis would win. A flow of raw materials in the Southern Hemisphere, at a high cost in lives, was key to ensuring Allied victory, as were military bases supporting the North African campaign, the Battle of the Atlantic and the invasion of Sicily, and fending off attacks on the Panama Canal. Allies secured loyalty through espionage and diplomacy - including help from Hollywood and Mickey Mouse - while Jews and innocents among ethnic groups - Japanese, Germans - paid an unconscionable price. Mexican pilots flew in the Philippines and 25,000 Brazilians breached the Gothic Line in Italy. The Tango War also describes the machinations behind the greatest mass flight of criminals of the century, fascists with blood on their hands who escaped to the Americas.

©2018 Mary Jo McConahay (P)2018 Tantor

More from the same

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    8
  • 4 Stars
    6
  • 3 Stars
    7
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    7
  • 4 Stars
    6
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    6
  • 4 Stars
    5
  • 3 Stars
    7
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Not easy to follow

This is very likely an audiobook best read. It’s very hard to follow in audio form. It skips around from topics as diverse as Orson Welles in South America to Brazilian forces in Italy in WWII. And there isn’t any transitions or linking between topics. The narrator is great. But unfortunately, this book doesn’t translate to oral form.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

MID-20TH CENTURY LATIN AMERICAN HISTORY

For a number of reasons, The Tango War was an eye-opener. An avid reader of history books, yes I knew about Brazil's contribution in the defeat of the Nazis and Italian Fascists. And I knew about German settlements in Latin America, before, during, and after WW II. But author Mary Jo McConahay did her research and presents all the intrigue and sadness of what was Latin America in the 20th Century. At times though I felt to make a point the author omitted good acts to emphasize the awful things done. For example, no doubt, Vatican hierarchy was heavily involved in getting Nazi war criminals safely to Latin America. But, while bringing up the old canards about Pope Pius XII she fails to mention things like the geographical fact that Vatican City was an island surrounded by Fascist Italy and later Nazi occupiers. To say well the Pope didn't condemn or excommunicate Hitler, a "baptized" Roman Catholic while ignoring the fact that Hitler looked upon Christianity as bastardized Judaism. Which is why he instituted a Nazi State Church to compete with established Christian churches. A condemnation or ex-communication would have given Hitler all the excuse he needed to end a State he found troublesome. And, the author ignored the fact that the Vatican and other Roman Catholic Institutions hid and saved Jews. In fact, the Pope hid the Chief Rabbi of Rome inside the Vatican for the duration of the war, and the Rabbi converted to Catholicism at the end of the War. But McConahay rightfully points out that the Vatican contained very high ranking Nazi sympathizers and Fascists like Cardinal Alois Hudal and Croatian Bishops and priests who were supporters of the Fascist Ustase. Nations like Sweden, Finland, and Switzerland engaged in similar coziness with Nazi Germany. All this said she does an excellent job in pointing out the role that the Catholic Church and the United States Government played in transporting Nazi War Criminals to Latin America and actually using Nazi War Criminals during the Cold War. As I stated it did open my eyes and changed my mind on how I see that Vatican and U.S. collusion led to what we know as Latin American Death Squads, especially in places like Chile and Argentina. But this is not to say The Tango War is just about Post WW II Latin America. The author in great detail brings forth the story of individual Latin American countries before, the war, their resources, the relationship with the United States, and the United States efforts to control those resources and keep a lid on Nazi spying and surreptitious importing of rubber, oil, etc. And I learned about Mexico's contribution to the defeat of Japan. All in all a good history. As for the Audible performance of Elizabeth Wiley I found it at times annoying. Her performance exuded, what I call an NPR patronizing tone. And some of her Spanish pronunciation was off. I can wholeheartedly recommend The Tango War.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

G

Gh d j McCain gf. Jog. HCA hgdd. Yards. Go. FFL hb. Jhabvala nktg cdhb