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8_Hugh L Cooper - opening of a dam in Russia.png

Technology trumps ideology

What if not a person, but knowledge is the one that migrates? Hugh Lincoln Cooper’s expertise circulated to the USA, South America, Africa, and Europe. After he coordinated two of the most challenging American infrastructure projects, Niagara Falls and Mississippi River hydroelectric dams, considered to be impracticable at that moment, Cooper was commissioned in South America, Africa, Europe, and even in Russia. He became such an indispensable professional that, despite Stalin’s disapproval of Western culture, Cooper was needed to complete the biggest European dam on Dnieper River. When Lenin defined communism as `soviet power+electrification`, he directed the economic life of the new nation along a line parallel to the long industrial progress. Therefore, Stalin even had dinner with Cooper, being aware of the need for know-how import on this specific domain.

Cooper’s work is still regarded as a model for the transfer of industrial skills from technologically advanced societies to those less so.



[1] Col. Hugh L. Coope, American dam builder

[2] Col. Hugh L. Cooper, opening of a dam in USSR

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