US Regionalism and the Mexican Agricultural Program
This chapter examines the first decade of the Rockefeller Foundation's Mexican Agricultural Program along three avenues. First, it explores the tempestuous political atmosphere of early 1940s' Mexico to answer a simple question: Why would the Mexican state under Ávila Camacho, in an era of significant nationalistic fervor, partner with a controversial US philanthropy in hoping to resolve the meaning of its agrarian revolution? The second part of the chapter examines how in its first five years, that program—relying on prior experience in the US South—tailored its agricultural research and extension work to the needs of poor ejido farmers in the central plateau surrounding Mexico City. The final part of the chapter looks at the twilight of peasant-friendly development in the face of national and global mandates to prioritize material abundance over the health and stability of the countryside.
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