White picket fences and barbed wire: the secrets of Guantánamo

Southern California Public Radio broadcast a discussion with Jonathan M. Hansen about his new book, Guantánamo: An American History. You can download the audio program by clicking on the link below.

When you think of Guantánamo, you think orange jumpsuits and barbed wired fences.

Many don’t know that Guantánamo is home to an idyllic American landscape of white picket fences and neighborhood cul-de-sacs that predated terrorism. In fact, it was George Washington’s half-brother who was there first, even before Cuba became a nation in 1898. Lawrence Washington, British sailor and colonist, was one of the first to note the bay’s strategic location in the new age of imperialism. Thomas Jefferson further recognized the importance of a U.S. presence in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. Conveniently situated off the southern coast of Cuba, facing the Caribbean, the Bay circumvents sovereignty laws that in the last few years have raised all sorts of questions about the use of torture. Author Jonathan Hansen joins Patt to reveal the secrets of Guantánamo in his new book “Guantánamo: An American History.”


Jonathan M. Hansen, lecturer, David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, Harvard University

Web Resources

To download the program go to


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