1932

Abstract

During the Cold War, coffee became a strategically important crop in the global contest between the United States and the Soviet Union. The economies of many US allies in Latin America depended upon coffee. In the Cold War context, then, the coffee leaf rust () became a geopolitical problem. Coffee experts in Latin America, which produced most of the world's coffee, began to prepare for an outbreak. In the 1950s, they built a global network of coffee experts. This network was sustained by US-led Cold War programs that promoted technical collaboration across the Global South, such as Harry Truman's Point Four programs. We explore the network's growth and evolution through one of its central figures, the American plant pathologist Frederick L. Wellman. This network has survived the end of the Cold War and evolved to reflect the new geopolitical context.

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2020-08-25
2024-06-25
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