I am a historian of United States foreign relations, specializing in the history of intelligence, development, and nation-building. I investigate the United States' uses aid, covert operations, diet, statistics, and technology to reconstruct social reality in countries around the world. My book The Hungry World (2010), explores the use of food as a tool of psychological warfare and regime change during the Cold War. Illusions of Influence (1994), described the process through which a former American colony negotiated its conditional independence. In the 1950s, the Central Intelligence Agency developed a capacity to replace unsuitable governments, elected or otherwise, as I show in Secret History (2006).
My current research examines the information revolution of the middle years of the twentieth century, which saw the emergence of information science, the first databases, and the Central Intelligence Agency. The very concept of "central intelligence" separated facts from authorship and perspective and reshaped the process of foreign policy decision-making. This transformation pre-dated the advent of computers but had equally far-reaching consequences.