The Cold War, RAND, and the Generation of Knowledge, 1946-1962
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The breaching of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 sent a signal worldwide: the tense, forty-five year long Cold War was ending. The Cold War had profoundly altered the course of national development in the United States and the Soviet Union: vast sums had created national security complexes that pervaded American and Soviet societies — with profound behavioral and psychological consequences. Six years after Boris Yeltsin took charge of the Russian republic, U.S. scientific/technical communities are scrambling to protect programs created during the Cold War whose missions are no longer clear; and the defense industry is contracting. This paper examines the history and output of RAND — an almost “pure cold war” institution. By the late 1960s, more of RAND’s budget went for domestic research, and the analytical methods that RAND had manifested at the height of the Cold War were actively engaged in the war on poverty.
Originally published in: Historical Studies in the Physical and Biological Sciences, v. 27, no. 2, 1997, pp. 237-267.
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