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Cold War Anthropology


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Table of Contents

Preface xi

Acknowledgments xxv

Abbreviations xxix

Part I. Cold War Political-Economic Disciplinary Formations

1. Political Economy and History of American Cold War Intelligence 3

2. World War II's Long Shadow 31

3. Rebooting Professional Anthropology in the Postwar World 54

4. After the Shooting War: Centers, Committees, Seminars, and Other Cold War Projects 81

5. Anthropologists and State: Aid, Debt, and Other Cold War Weapons of the Strong 109

Intermezzo 137

Part II. Anthropologists' Articulations with the National Security State

6. Cold War Anthropologists at the CIA: Careers Confirmed and Suspected 143

7. How CIA Funding Fronts Shaped Anthropological Research 165

8. Unwitting CIA Anthropologist Collaborators: MK-Ultra, Human Ecology, and Buying a Piece of Anthropology 195

9. Cold War Fieldwork within the Intelligence Universe 221

10. Cold War Anthropological Counterinsurgency Dreams 248

11. The AAA Confronts Military and Intelligence Uses of Disciplinary Knowledge 276

12. Anthropologically Informed Counterinsurgency in Southeast Asia 301

13. Anthropologists for Radical Political Action and Revolution within the AAA 323

14. Untangling Open Secrets, Hidden Histories, Outrage Denied, and Recurrent Dual Use Themes 349

Notes 371

Bibliography 397

Index 433

About the Author

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.


"Others have written on the entanglement of the social sciences with the military-intelligence complex, but none as energetically, from as many angles, or with as sensitive an eye for connections and overarching themes. ... ? Just as [Price] insists that HTS matters less than the underlying trends it represents, he cares less about the dramas of individual anthropologists in Cold War Anthropology and more about the subtle, systemic changes throughout the field-changes that threatened to make the discipline itself a security-state collaborator, sucking in individual researchers without their full knowledge." -- Peter C. Baker * The Nation *
"In the course of twelve years Price has written three books which have helped redefine anthropology's understanding of itself. And now, with Cold War Anthropology, Price brings his massive, precedent-make (and -busting) history of anthropology and American power to a close. It's a defining moment in the history of anthropology, and deserves wide attention. . . . We have much to learn from our discipline's recent past, and thanks to David Price we have the opportunity to see our field as it really was, warts and all. The stories in this book, and the issues that it raises, need to be discussed by the discipline as a whole." -- Alex Golub * Somatosphere *
"Readers will benefit from Price's careful attention to the impact of funding streams on scholarly decision-making, his dedication to amassing hard-to-locate source material, and his cogent moral compass." -- Margaret Flood * History of Anthropology Newsletter *
"Cold War Anthropology restarts a conversation that should have never stopped. Anthropologists unaware of their discipline's history will nodoubt find its lists of CIA and military projects eye-opening. Veterans of campaigns to rid the discipline of ties to the military and intelligence agencies will appreciate its recounting of battles lost and won within the AAA. Historians of science, too, have much to learn from the book's methodology, especially its use of FOIA applications and tracings of blown CIA fronts." -- Audra Wolfe * Anthropological Quarterly *
"Cold War Anthropology forces the reader to confront in blunt detail the ways in which ethnographic work exists in tandem with political-economic forces, especially the agendas of funding bodies and special interests. It is a book I encourage anthropologists everywhere to read, but, more importantly, to discuss its implications with colleagues and students." -- Joseph Anderson * LSE Review of Books *
"With regard to US anthropology, perhaps no other scholar has done more to unsettle the by now defunct representation of the anthropologist as hero than David H. Price." -- Sindre Bangstad * Anthropology of This Century *
"Price names names in abundance, carefully weighing researchers' awareness, or not, of hidden agendas; few records exist about unfunded research disfavored by state agencies. Illuminating shadows and obscured influences, Price brings realpolitik into anthropology's history. . . . Highly recommended. Most levels/libraries." -- A. B. Kehoe * Choice *
"Price's work has been marked by extensive use of governmental archives, including many sources declassified through the Freedom of Information Act. Simply bringing this information to light should be reckoned as a major achievement....Price has written, if not a fully sufficient book (who has?), then a profoundly necessary one that challenges what American anthropology has been and what it remains." -- Robert Oppenheim * Journal of American History *
"Cold War Anthropology is an exceptionally valuable book, based on impressive scholarship. It deserves the thoughtful attention of anthropologists interested in where their discipline has been and where it may be headed." -- Robert A. Rubinstein * Journal of Anthropological Research *
"Historians of anthropology will welcome this volume, but it is relevant for every anthropologist working today. . . . We have much to learn from our discipline's recent past, and thanks to David Price we have the opportunity to see our field as it really was, warts and all. The stories in this book, and the issues that it raises, need to be discussed by the discipline as a whole." -- Alex Golub * Savage Minds *
"Price critically analyzes the rapid growth of American anthropology during the Cold War ... [and] masterfully contextualizes these tranformative years in anthropology." -- Roberto J. Gonzalez * Anthropos *
"The publication of David Price's Cold War Anthropology concludes a trilogy of volumes that, taken together, constitute one of the most important and unprecedented contributions to the intellectual and political history of American anthropology." -- Mark Goodale * American Anthropologist *
"Price has gone to extensive lengths using the FOIA to secure previously secret documents that complement his comprehensive survey of open source material and the secondary literature. No stone is left unturned, no shallow defense of complicity left unchallenged." -- John Krige * Diplomatic History *
"This is a work of superb and relevant scholarship that deserves to be read and heeded by every undergraduate student let alone scholars across the anthropological discipline. It is a moral call to examine the nature and value of knowledge and of conducting independent research rather than following the pathways opened up by the imperial state." -- Inderjeet Parmar * Social History *
"David Price is convincing; his arguments are nuanced and reveal the breadth and degree of US anthropology's involvement in CIA and Pentagon efforts." -- Julie McBrien * American Ethnologist *

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