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Most of the anthropologists who worked for the CIA during the 1950s had worked for the Office of Strategic Services or engaged in intelligence work at other agencies during the Second World War. During the 1950s, several anthropologists worked as analysts within the CIA, while others undertook field operations abroad. Frank Bessac joined the CIA and later traveled overland from China to Tibet with CIA agent Douglas Mackiernan in 1950. The CIA careers of anthropologists Donald Wilber, Michael Coe, and others are described.

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