At one time, dictatorships were believed to promote economic development, while development was believed to generate democracy. Combined, these views fostered a faulty prescription for international development and US foreign policy. Both of these beliefs have now been proven false, but they are being replaced by new blueprints for development policies whose foundations are equally lacking in fact. As the wave of independence movements swept Africa after 1957, concern about the future of the so-called “new nations”gripped the attention of US scholars and policymakers. With the Cold War at its zenith, the Soviet Union welcomed the birth of prospective members of the socialist commonwealth, while Western observers feared the spread of communism around the world.