Mark Solovey

 
My book Shaky Foundations: The Politics-Patronage-Social Science Nexus in Cold War America (2013) provides the first extensive examination of a new patronage system for the social sciences that emerged in the early Cold War years and that took more definite shape during the 1950s and early 1960s, a period of enormous expansion in American social science. By focusing on the military, the Ford Foundation, and the National Science Foundation, I show how this patronage system presented social scientists and other interested parties, including natural scientists and politicians, with new opportunities to work out the scientific identity, social implications, and public policy uses of academic social research. I also examine significant criticisms of the new patronage system, which contributed to widespread efforts to rethink and reshape the politics-patronage-social science nexus starting in the mid-1960s.  Based on extensive archival research, Shaky Foundations addresses fundamental questions about the intellectual foundations of the social sciences, their relationships with the natural sciences and the humanities, and the political and ideological import of academic social inquiry.