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Rusk A, Interview with Dean Rusk, circa 1985

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:01:04 - The Rockefeller Foundation and philanthropy in the south

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Partial Transcript: My first question is just a general one about John D. senior. He has a reputation in the public mind as being a rather ruthless fellow.

Segment Synopsis: Rusk describes the Rockefeller Foundation as a source of philanthropy in the south regarding public health and education, including the eradication of hookworm and the creation of the General Education Board, respectively. He also discusses the relationship between education and public health.

Keywords: 16th amendment; A&M colleges; Cherokee County; General Education Board; John D. Rockefeller Sr; John D. Rockefeller Sr.; John Rockefeller; Land Grant College System; Rockefeller foundation; agricultural and mechanical colleges; anti-trust legislation; big business; herpes; hookworms; income tax amendment; income taxes; philosophy of work; productivity; public education; public health; standard oil; trusts; typhoid fever

00:12:33 - The public face of the Rockefeller Foundation

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Partial Transcript: Getting back to hookworms, were you folks aware of the fact that the Rockefeller Foundation was behind that campaign?

Segment Synopsis: Rusk discusses the Rockefeller Foundation and public awareness concerning its humanitarian projects, focusing on the balance between publicity and recognition of the Foundation.

Keywords: John D. Rockefeller; Rockefeller Foundation; academic philanthropy; exploitation; hookworm; humanitarianism; philanthropy; public health; transparency

00:15:39 - Medical training in developing countries

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Partial Transcript: What about this phenomenon of Greeks bearing gifts and peoples' natural aversion to that sort of thing?

Segment Synopsis: Dean Rusk discusses the Rockefeller Foundation's role in changing views on the use of technology and advanced materials in emerging fields in developing countries. He also talks on the dynamic and ever-changing relationship between the Foundation and the Soviet Union.

Keywords: Latin America; Ribeirao Preto medical school; Rockefeller Foundation; agriculture; east west relations; east-west relations; medical schools; medical training; wheat rust

00:19:01 - Foreign relations with scientists

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Partial Transcript: Fosdick, in his book, stated that the Foundation had contacts and relations with 93 countries by 1950. He said for the most part they were good relations. One country that the Foundation was not able to establish good relations with, or any relations with really, was Russia.

Segment Synopsis: Rusk describes interactions between the Rockefeller Foundation and the Soviet Union concerning wheat rust and concerns of biological warfare. He also discusses international relations between Rockefeller Foundation scientists and those in foreign countries such as Poland.

Keywords: Cold War; Congressional Hearings of 1952; Harry Emerson Fosdick; John Foster Dulles; Soviet Russia; Soviet Union; USSR; agricultural weapons; biological warfare; blight-resistance; blight-resistant potato; ecological research; party control; political parties; tundra; wheat rust

00:29:34 - The Rockefeller Foundation and the third world

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Partial Transcript: You made the point earlier that the Rockefeller Foundation often had better relations with some of these third world countries than our own government did.

Segment Synopsis: Rusk discusses the Rockefeller Foundation's relationship with third world countries, and the on-boarding process that involved his offering suggestions for the Foundation and its role in agriculture and education in Latin America, Africa, and Asia.

Keywords: China Medical Board; Peking Union Medical College; Rockefeller Foundation; third world; third world education; trustee review committees

00:38:22 - The growth of the Foundation, science and arts

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Partial Transcript: My question is, what's gonna happen to the Foundation?

Segment Synopsis: Dean Rusk discusses the role of funding in the future of the Rockefeller Foundation, and the change in project focus over the course of the Foundation's existence.

Keywords: Alan Gregg; American education; Dean Rusk; General Education Board; Hitler; John D. Rockefeller; Joseph H. Willits; Liquidation of General Education Board; Rockefeller Foundation; The Holocaust; The Louisville Orchestra; Warren Weaver; academic grants; arts funding; education; endowments; funding for art; loan recovery; non-profit budgeting; public health; the arts

00:47:59 - Role in funding of private projects

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Partial Transcript: Fosdick points out an incident in which the esprit de corps probably suffered and it happened before you got there, but apparently the U.S. government asked the Rockefeller Foundation to put more money and several sizable appropriations into the cyclotron out of the University of California.

Segment Synopsis: Rusk discusses the Rockefeller Foundation's role in funding various private projects of interest to the American government, including the Kinsey Reports, J.B. Rhine's parapsychology research, and The Manhattan Project.

Keywords: Alfred Kinsey; Berkeley; Berkeley Lab; Duke University; Dwight D. Eisenhower; ESP; Eisenhower; Foundation for Research on the Nature of Man; Harry S. Truman; J.B. Rhine; John F. Kennedy; Joseph Banks Rhine; Kennedy; Kinsey Reports; Lawrence Berkeley National Library; Manhattan Project; Peoples to Peoples; Performing Arts Center; Reece Committee; Rockefeller Foundation; UC Berkeley; University of California; cyclotron; extrasensory perception; parapsychology; private foundations; statistics

00:56:10 - Shift from domestic to international policy

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Partial Transcript: Now, there was one field in which we did move somewhat contrary to official public policy during the fifties, and that was to begin to take an active interest in the population problem, family planning.

Keywords: Family Planning Bill; India; John Rockefeller III; Public Health Service Act; Richard Nixon; Third World; Title X; William Fulbright; birth control; body politics; contraceptives; family planning; pregnancy planning; public policy

Subjects: Rusk discusses the Rockefeller Foundation's role in raising awareness of and influencing family planning, food production, and other international policy concerns.

01:01:44 - Recruiting talent and avoiding "brain drain"

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Partial Transcript: Let me repeat what I've said to you before. In retrospect, I think one of the greatest contributions made by the Rockefeller Foundation was its endless search for talent.

Segment Synopsis: Rusk discusses the problem of recruiting talent and trying to avoid brain drain

Keywords: 1960s American education; American education; American hospitals; Dean Rusk; Filipino nurses; Philippines; Rockefeller Foundation; Rockefeller Foundation fellowship; STEM; brain drain; education; hospitals; interns; talent recruitment

01:05:11 - The impact of small grants

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Partial Transcript: Did you continue the practice as President of the Foundation giving these little grants in aid, smaller type grants averaging two or three thousand dollars worth?

Keywords: Harry Emerson Fosdick; Rockefeller Foundation; Rockefeller Foundation Fellowships; grants; penicillin

Subjects: Rusk discusses the impact of small grants given by the Rockefeller Foundation, including the development of penicillin.

01:06:51 - Accomplishments in 1950s and 1960s

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Partial Transcript: Fosdick took the story up through 1950. Can you name the top achievements, the really big ones that stand out?

Segment Synopsis: Rusk recalls the greatest achievements of the Rockefeller Foundation while he was in office, including involvement in the Green Revolution and the quality of universities and education in the Third World.

Keywords: GMOs; Green Revolution; International Rice Research Institute; Laguna; Las Banos; Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts; Mexico; Philippines; University of the Philippines; agricultural research; genetic modification; genetically modified organisms; hybrid corn; hybrid rice; hybrid wheat

01:10:45 - Public health and population planning

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Partial Transcript: When you folks went into the area of public health, overseas, on an international basis, controlling--

Segment Synopsis: Rusk recalls the Rockefeller Foundation's role in public health, particularly family planning and matters of disease.

Keywords: Green Revolution; The Rockefeller Foundation; Third World; demographic studies; family planning; food production; illiteracy; population growth; poverty

01:14:07 - Skepticism of behavioral sciences

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Partial Transcript: Um, I was somewhat skeptical about some of the things that were being done in the so called behavioral sciences.

Segment Synopsis: Rusk discusses the involvement of the Rockefeller Foundation in funding various organizations involved in the social sciences, and his skepticism of those organizations working in the behavioral sciences. He also addresses the accusation of the Rockefeller Foundation's bias to support research in the social sciences.

Keywords: Council of Foreign Relations; Foreign Policy Association; I-House; I-House of Tokyo; Institute of International Education; International House of New Delhi; International House of Tokyo; John D. Rockefeller III; National Bureau of Economic Research; Population Council; The Rockefeller Foundation; architecture; behavioral sciences; city planning; drinking water; grants; humanitarianism; humanities; international education; low-cost housing; population science; public health; public housing; public information; social sciences; urban development; urban planning

01:22:26 - Investment and philanthrophy

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Partial Transcript: Pop, you made the point that the investment wing and the philanthropic wing of the foundation were two separate entities and you kept them separate, you didn't try to have one influence the other.

Segment Synopsis: Rusk discusses the differences in the ways the Rockefeller Foundation handled investment and philanthropy.

Keywords: 1972 Senate; Jay Rockefeller; New York Stock Exchange; The Rockefeller Foundation; West Virginia; capital; coal industry; common stocks; government securities; politics of public investment; public investment; strip mining

01:26:31 - Foundations as an American phenomenon

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Partial Transcript: Why is it that the foundations seem to be an American phenomenon?

Segment Synopsis: Rusk discusses the origins of the foundation as what he believes is an American phenomenon, comparing the idea of philanthropy to those of other countries and cultures.

Keywords: Alexis de Tocqueville; Andrew Carnegie; Calouste Gulbenkian; Ford Foundation; Guggenheim Foundation; Guggenheim fellowships; Gulbenkian Foundation; Henry Ford II; March of Dimes; Protestantism; Rice Research Institute; The Rockefeller Foundation; Toqueville; W.K. Kellogg Foundation; endowments; federal income tax; grants; income tax; philanthropy; public relations; socialism; state taxes; tax exempt funds; tithing

01:39:43 - The Rockefeller brothers

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Partial Transcript: I know you don't want to engage in gossip.

Segment Synopsis: Rusk recalls his memories of the Rockefeller brothers, and the various projects in which they became involved including family planning.

Keywords: Chase Bank; David Rockefeller; Dean Rusk; James William Fulbright; John D. Rockefeller III; John D. Rockefeller IIIl; Lawrence Rockefeller, Winthrop Rockefeller; Nelson Rockefeller; Richard Nixon; Rockefeller Foundation; Rockefeller brothers; Rockefeller family; The Great Depression; The Rockefellers; colonial Williamsburg; contraceptives; family planning; public policy

01:50:31 - The nature of giving grants

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Partial Transcript: Did you ever have to withdraw funding from a project because of misuse of funds?

Segment Synopsis: Rusk describes the evolution of the Rockefeller Foundation's involvement in following up on projects to which grants had been given, and their role in the administrative growth of newly independent foreign nations.

Keywords: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; The Rockefeller Foundation; University of London; World Bank; colonial Britain; colonialism; decolonization; grants; imperialism; newly independent countries; post-graduate grants