Public Health and Hemisphere Defense during World War II

Jan 01, 2012 | by
  • Description

My dissertation explores the history of inter-American collaboration in hemisphere defense during World War II, focusing on the construction and operation of a network of U.S. military bases throughout Latin America. By examining issues such as labor conflict, jurisdictional disputes, social relations, and infrastructure development on and around U.S. bases, I explore how the terms of inter-American cooperation in this aspect of the defense effort were negotiated at the local, national and international levels. I am especially interested in how fields such as public health, development and goodwill were viewed as security concerns during this period and became incorporated into plans for hemisphere defense. In the summer of 2012, I visited the Rockefeller Archive Center (RAC) in search of material that would inform the chapter of my dissertation that explores public health work on and around U.S. bases in the region, and to understand more broadly the growing belief in various sectors of the U.S. government that investment in social and economic problems in Latin America would enhance U.S. national security.