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The Ends of Modernization: Nicaragua and the United States in the Cold War Era

Date & Time

Mar. 20, 2023
4:00pm – 5:30pm ET


Online Only


The Ends of Modernization studies the relations between Nicaragua and the United States in the crucial years during and after the Cold War. David Johnson Lee charts the transformation of the ideals of modernization, national autonomy, and planned development as they gave way to human rights protection, neoliberalism, and sustainability. Using archival material, newspapers, literature, and interviews with historical actors in countries across Latin America, the United States, and Europe, Lee demonstrates how conflict between the United States and Nicaragua shaped larger international development policy and transformed the Cold War.

David Johnson Lee is a professor at Temple University where he also received his Ph.D. He is the author of The Ends of Modernization: Nicaragua and the United States in the Cold War (Cornell University Press, 2021) as well as many other reviews and articles.

The Washington History Seminar is co-chaired by Eric Arnesen (George Washington University) and Christian Ostermann (Woodrow Wilson Center) and is organized jointly by the American Historical Association and the Woodrow Wilson Center's History and Public Policy Program. It meets weekly during the academic year. The seminar thanks its anonymous individual donors and institutional partner (the George Washington University History Department) for their continued support.


David Johnson Lee

David Johnson Lee

Professor of History, Temple University


Cindy Arnson

Cynthia J. Arnson

Distinguished Fellow and Former Director, Latin America Program
Eline van Ommen

Eline van Ommen

Lecturer in Contemporary History, University of Leeds

Hosted By

History and Public Policy Program

The History and Public Policy Program makes public the primary source record of 20th and 21st century international history from repositories around the world, facilitates scholarship based on those records, and uses these materials to provide context for classroom, public, and policy debates on global affairs.  Read more

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