Patrick Iber

Position title: Associate Chair; Associate Professor of History


Phone: 608.263.8931

Office: 5123 Mosse Humanities
Mailbox: 5008 Mosse Humanities
Office Hours: TBA

Patrick Iber headshot


I am a historian of 20th century Latin America and U.S. foreign relations. My first book, Neither Peace nor Freedom: The Cultural Cold War in Latin America, examines how artists, writers, and intellectuals participated in and generated Cold War conflict. I describe how they worked with organizations sponsored by Cold War powers: the Soviet-backed World Peace Council, the CIA-sponsored Congress for Cultural Freedom, and Cuba’s Casa de las Américas. Neither Peace nor Freedom delves into the entwined histories of these groups and the aspirations and dilemmas of intellectuals who participated in them, from Diego Rivera and Pablo Neruda to Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Jorge Luis Borges, showing how difficult it was for them to achieve their visions of art in the service of justice in the context of the Cold War.

In addition to my scholarly work, I endeavor to write for a public audience. I am on the editorial board at Dissent and frequently contribute there; I have also written for The New RepublicThe Chronicle of Higher EducationThe AwlJacobinSlateThe Baffler, The NationLetras LibresNexos, and Horizontal.

In general, my interests include the politics of culture and intellectuals, socialism and democracy, poverty and inequality, cultural diplomacy and imperialism, and the added value of transnational approaches to history. I am developing a new book project on how social scientists understood and responded to poverty and inequality in 20th century Latin America.


Ph.D., University of Chicago
M.A., Stanford University
B.S., Stanford University


Selected Publications

  • “Social Science, Cultural Imperialism, and the Ford Foundation in Latin America in the 1960s,” pp. 96-114, in The Global Sixties: Convention, Contest, and Counterculture, edited by Jadwiga Pieper-Mooney and Tamara Chaplin, Routledge, 2017.
  • “Debating Political Economy: An Approach to Teaching the U.S. and the World,” Journal of American History 103, no. 4 (March 2017): 997-1003.
  • “The Cold War Politics of Literature and the Centro Mexicano de Escritores,” Journal of Latin American Studies 48, no. 2 (May 2016): 247-272.
  • “Who will Impose Democracy?: Sacha Volman and the Contradictions of CIA Support for the Anticommunist Left in Latin America,” Diplomatic History 37, no. 5 (November 2013): 995-1028.
  • “El imperialismo de la libertad: el Congreso por la Libertad de la Cultura en América Latina,” 117-132 in La guerra fría cultural en América Latina: desafíos y límites para una nueva mirada de las relaciones interamericanas, edited by Benedetta Calandra and Marina Franco, Biblos, 2012.
  • “Anti-Communist Entrepreneurs and the Origins of the Cultural Cold War in Latin America,” pp. 167-186, in De-centering Cold War History: Local and Global Change, edited by Jadwiga Pieper-Mooney and Fabio Lanza, Routledge, 2012.

Advisor To

Selected Awards

  • Luciano Tomassini Latin American International Relations Book Award, 2017
  • Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship of Scholars in the Humanities, Stanford University, 2011-2013

History Courses