Cold War Anthropology: The CIA, the Pentagon, and the Growth of Dual Use Anthropology
David H. Price is Professor of Anthropology at Saint Martin’s University. He is the author of Threatening Anthropology: McCarthyism and the FBI’s Surveillance of Activist Anthropologists and Anthropological Intelligence: The Deployment and Neglect of American Anthropology in the Second World War, both also published by Duke University Press, and Weaponizing Anthropology: Social Science in Service of the Militarized State.
Cold War Political-Economic Disciplinary Formations
Detailing shifts in American strategy and approaches to intelligence and covert action during the post–World War II period, this chapter traces the rise of the CIA as a covert arm of the presidency, and the rise of national security state. Drawing on revelations by investigative journalists and congressional investigations of the 1960s and 1970s, details of CIA’s secretive use of social scientists are compiled for an overview of how Cold War scholarship at times served the needs of state.
The second chapter examines the impacts of the Second World War on anthropology and the world at large. As anthropologists and young Americans who would soon study anthropology under the GI Bill returned to campuses soon marked by the Cold War, many Americans continued to interpret the early Cold War’s political developments with views linked more closely to the world of the previous war. Postwar changes on campus, anthropologists contributions to the Marshall Plan, and the Japanese occupation found anthropologists continuing many of the research trajectories developed during the war, with little thought about the shifting political context of the Cold War.