American imperialism in Latin America at the beginning of the 20th century has been explained, in part, as a response to the threat posed by Germany in the region. But, as Nancy Mitchell demonstrates, the German actions that made the US defensive - and have been held up ever since as evidence that Germany aimed to challenge the Monroe Doctrine - prove to be, on close inspection of German, US and British archives, a potent mix of German bombast and American paranoia. Simply put, says Mitchell, there was no German threat in Latin America. Mitchell's case hinges on the careful investigation of four important matters: the development of German and US war plans, Theodore Roosevelt's response to the Anglo-German blockade of Venezuela, the German presence in southern Brazil and the evolution of Woodrow Wilson's Mexican policy. Her analysis of German actions exposes the persistent US tendency to exaggerate the threat that Wilhelmine Germany posed to Latin America. Germany's ambitions, recklessly proclaimed but never translated into policy, allowed the United States to disguise its intervention in Latin America as the protection of the region from rapacious Europeans, rather than the imperialism of a rising power.