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Armed with ExpertiseThe Militarization of American Social Research during the Cold War$
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Joy Rohde

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780801449673

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801449673.001.0001

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From Democratic Experts to “Automatic Cold Warriors”

From Democratic Experts to “Automatic Cold Warriors”

Dismantling the Gray Area in the Vietnam Era

(p.90) 4 From Democratic Experts to “Automatic Cold Warriors”
Armed with Expertise

Joy Rohde

Cornell University Press

This chapter assesses the extent of public concerns about the militarization of scholarship and foreign policy. As early as 1957, critics had publicly identified both the Michigan State University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology programs as Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) projects, but it took the Vietnam War for these allegations to gain traction. Scholars and elected officials warned that the military's contracting system rendered researchers “automatic cold warriors” who unquestioningly obeyed the bidding of their patrons. By the late 1960s, fewer Americans interpreted researchers' actions as a principled stand against communism. Although social research commanded a small share of the military's budget, it became one of the principal proxies in Americans' broadening critical engagement with the consequences of militarization.

Keywords:   militarization, scholarship, foreign policy, Vietnam War, cold warriors, social research

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