University of Wisconsin–Madison

Friday Forum: Sinae Hyun

“Disenchanted: American Cold War Missions in Thailand through the Stories of the Young Family”

Assistant Professor, History Department
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater


December 1, 2017
NOON – 1:30 P.M.

Oliver Gordon Young was a son of American Baptist missionary who had served the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in the 1950s and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in the 1960s in Thailand. He left Thailand in 1974 with disenchantment of his missions while his father and younger brother who had shared similar working experiences remained in Thailand. Based on personal correspondences, archival and field researches, this presentation will examine the Young family’s missions in Thailand during the Cold War. The stories of the Young family will elucidate indigenizing nature of the American Cold War and innate limitation of the U.S. foreign policymaking establishment for comprehending the consequence of collaboration with the local Thai ruling elites.