office of inter-American affairs oiaa attracts limited scholarly coverage neo-colonialism alive and well

Nelson A. Rockefeller’s Of ce of Inter-American Affairs (1940–1946) and Record Group 229

By Gisela Cramer and Ursula Prutsch

“In comparative terms, the Office of Inter-American Affairs has attracted rather limited scholarly studies. It is, of course, a mandatory component of accounts of the Good Neighbor policy and inter-American relations during World War II; even so, rarely has the OIAA received more than a passing treatment.10 Those readers interested in the administrative and organizational history of the of ce will have to consult the of cial account published in 1947 as part of the Historical Reports on the War Administration.11 Thereafter, a handful of studies have focused squarely on the OIAA, mainly unpublished doctoral dissertations.12 A number of colorful biographies and autobiographies inform on the leadership provided by Rockefeller, his entourage of assistants and advisers, and their interactions with the upper echelons of the Roosevelt administration.13 Much less is known about the of ce’s activities and how these worked out on the ground. While it is well known, for instance, that the OIAA maintained large-scale health and sanitation programs in various parts of the region, very few researchers have taken a close look at these activities.14 Some aspects of the agency’s lm, radio, and press activities have come under closer scrutiny due to an upsurge of com- munications and lm studies published since the 1970s.15 More recently…” (Page. 789).

It is interesting that major media owners were in the OIAA and controlled programs in South and Central America.

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