The Rich Neighbor Policy: Rockefeller And Kaiser In Brazil

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Relations between countries are often shaped as much by the activities of private citizens and companies as they are by the interactions of diplomats and heads of state. In this book Elizabeth A. Cobbs examines the post-World War II business and philanthropic activities of Nelson Rockefeller and Henry Kaiser in Brazil, a country with huge economic potential and a historic and friendly special relationship to the United States. Between 1945 and 1960, says Cobbs, while the U.S. government gradually abandoned Franklin D. Roosevelt's Good Neighbor Policy in favor of its global priorities, Rockefeller and Kaiser stepped in with a Rich Neighbor Policy of their own, promoting economic development in Brazil through the transfer of American techniques, technology, and financial resources. Rockefeller and Kaiser shared a belief in the postwar economic interdependence of nations and thus considered Latin American development to be directly beneficial to the United States. Using government and private archives, Cobbs shows how Rockefeller's involvement with Brazilian agriculture and finance and Kaiser's participation in the Brazilian automobile industry affected U.S. foreign relations with Brazil, how postwar businessmen sought their own accommodation with Latin American nationalism by evolving a code of corporate social responsibility, and how some forms of private economic aid and investment actually produced sustained development.

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