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Defining the Monster: The Social Science and Rhetoric of Neo-Marxist Theories of Imperialism in the United States and Latin America, 1945-1973


Drawing from a range of newly available archival materials gathered from multiple countries, my dissertation traces the North American academic reception of Latin American anti-imperialist intellectual traditions in the 1960s and 1970s. Obviously this is a broad story, to which I only contribute a piece. To limit the scope of the narrative, I have focused primarily on the intellectuals surrounding the independent socialist journal Monthly Review, and used that as a frame for bringing in other actors. The archival source base includes the personal papers of Paul Sweezy, Paul Baran, Andre Gunder Frank, and Harry Magdoff; the journals Monthly Review, Studies on the Left, American Socialist; and the international records of the Trotskyist Socialist Workers’ Party (SWP). The correspondence of the editors of Monthly Review and the records of the SWP reveal a broad and overlapping network of actors spanning virtually the entire globe. I have also drawn from a wide range of South American sources to provide the context and background for the intellectual currents these North American thinkers encountered when they turned their attention to South American thought, as indicated in their correspondence. Notable examples include the works of José Carlos Mariátegui, Silvio Frondizi, Milcíades Peña, Sergio Bagú, Theotonio dos Santos, Ruy Mauro Marini, Regis Debray, and Adolfo Gilly as well as internal documents of the University of Chile’s Centro de Estudios Socioeconomicos, an interdisciplinary research center that housed many of the most influential dependentistas from 1966 to 1973.

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