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Price, David H.

1998 “Cold War Anthropology: Collaborators and Victims of the National Security State” Identities 4(3-4): 389-430.


KEYWORDS:  History of Anthropology, Cold War, Clyde Kluckhohn, Central Intelligence Agency, Melville Jacobs




This paper examines some of interactions between anthropologists and America’s National Security State during the Cold War.  The Human Ecology Fund, an anthropological funding front used by the Central Intelligence Agency in the 1950s and 1960s is discussed to elucidate one of the ways that the National Security State sponsored and consumed anthropological knowledge. Clyde Kluckhohn’s secret interactions with the FBI, State Department and CIA are discussed to exemplify how some scholars covertly interacted with intelligence agencies during the Cold War.  Finally, documents from anthropologist Melville Jacobs’ troubles at the University of Washington for his Marxist political associations indicate ways in which radical anthropologist were persecuted.  It is argued that despite the proclaimed end of the Cold War, many of the features of the National Security State are still in place, as are new interfaces between the military-intelligence agencies and the academy.