Carothers interviewed a lot of people who worked for the Reagan adminstration and uses his research to give a country-by-country account of the administration’s policies. He especially traces the theme of the promotion of democracy and charts the competition between hard-line anti-communists and moderates in the policymaking process.
He finds that the moderates gained influence as time went on. They usually paid more attention to advocating democracy, except in Nicaragua where the hard-liners adopted it as a tactic to undermine and, they hoped, destroy the Marxist-influenced Sandinista regime there. He believes that democracy rhetoric was generally genuine but also shallow and not particularly effective.
I would recommend it for those who are interested in the topic. I read it for a research paper on Reagan’s Latin America policy.