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"That So Fair a Thing Should Be So Frail:" The Ford Foundation and the Failure of Rural Development in Iran, 1953-1964

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From 1954 to 1964, the Ford Foundation attempted to implement an ambitious program of rural development in Iran. Through education, grassroots initiatives, and better credit, the Foundation hoped to transform Iran's peasant population into a base around which Iran would become a democracy. Its efforts, however, ultimately proved unsuccessful. This article argues that Ford's initiatives failed in part because its vision for the region was at odds with the goals of American foreign policy, which sought stability instead of democracy.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 2009

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