Mark Solovey. Shaky Foundations: The Politics-Patronage-Social Science Nexus in Cold War America. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2013

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Sergei I. Zhuk


Contemporaries noted that the Cold War confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union led to an intense “ideological offensive” when thousands of historians and social scientists in both countries became involved in area studies, including Soviet studies in the USA and American studies in the USSR. The common feature of this offensive from both sides of the Iron Curtain was an attempt to combine the techniques and insights of new historical research and “social sciences (intelligence on demographic and cultural trends, public opinion data, media manipulation) with advanced engineering (in command and control, weapons, transport) to manage, defuse or in some cases obliterate local challenges to superpower influence” (Simpson 1998:xvi; Engerman 2009).


History of Social Sciences, Cold War, Funding of Research, Federal Patrons, Patronage System, Knowledge Production

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