Bread and the Ballot: The United States and India's Economic Development, 1947-1963

By Dennis Merrill | Go to book overview

Preface

During the early 1970s, as the Vietnam War wound down and I enrolled in college, it became common in academic and political circles to speak of "development" as one of the key issues in "North-South" relations. The developing nations of the south, as they were referred to at the time, pressed the wealthy nations of the north to offer foreign assistance and loans at low rates, reduce tariff barriers, pay more for imported raw materials through commodity price agreements, and compromise with needy nations that nationalized certain foreign-owned industries. In the United Nations the group of seventy-seven -- a coalition of developing nations numbering more than one hundred -- articulated Third World discontent in their call for the establishment of a "New International Economic Order." Inspired by the call to international justice, moved by the urgency of the problem, and sensitive to the growing interdependence of nations, I became interested in development. That interest and concern eventually led me to write this book.

Development can be studied from a vast array of perspectives. Since the end of World War II the term has been bantered about by social scientists, philosophers, political leaders, and bureaucrats. This book explores the many meanings of the word, but focuses upon the development process within the context of United States diplomatic history. It traces the evolution of United States economic aid to India during the darkest days of the Cold War when development for American policymakers became synonymous with the foreign policy of containment. India ranked as one of the largest and most populous of the emerging nations and had declared its intention to remain neutral in the great power rivalry. It ultimately became a major prize in the Soviet-American competition and a recipient of large amounts of aid from both sides.

The book derives its title in part from the fact that India has, for the past forty years, maintained the "world's largest democracy." Although the phrase is misleading and not to be interpreted literally, India has struggled over the years to achieve development through democratic means -- an uncommon experience in the non-Western world. The title is also drawn from a speech delivered by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in early 1959, at a time when development diplomacy was coming into its own. Speaking

-xi-

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Bread and the Ballot: The United States and India's Economic Development, 1947-1963
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Preface xi
  • One - Introduction: American Developmentalism And India 1
  • Two - A Missed Opportunity, 1947-1950 19
  • Three - War and Aid, 1950-1951 47
  • Four - A Matter of Priorities, 1951-1953 75
  • Five - A Changing Cold War, 1953-1956 102
  • Six - Take-Off, 1957-1961 137
  • Seven - Jfk and India's Development Decade, 1961-1963 169
  • Eight - Conclusion 204
  • Notes 213
  • Selected Bibliography 257
  • Index 271
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