Andra B. Chastain is an assistant professor of history at Washington State University Vancouver, where she teaches Latin American and world history. She has a PhD in History from Yale University.
Itineraries of Expertise contends that experts and expertise played fundamental roles in the Latin American Cold War. While traditional Cold War histories of the region have examined diplomatic, intelligence, and military operations and more recent studies have probed the cultural dimensions of the conflict, the experts who constitute the focus of this volume escaped these categories. Although they often portrayed themselves as removed from politics, their work contributed to the key geopolitical agendas of the day. The paths traveled by the experts in this volume not only traversed Latin America and connected Latin America to the Global North, they also stretch traditional chronologies of the Latin American Cold War to show how local experts in the early twentieth century laid the foundation for post–World War II development projects, and how Cold War knowledge of science, technology, and the environment continues to impact our world today. These essays unite environmental history and the history of science and technology to argue for the importance of expertise in the Latin American Cold War.