Alfred W. McCoy
Alfred W. McCoy
Alfred William McCoy
June 8, 1945
|Residence||Madison, Wisconsin, United States|
|Spouse(s)||Cathleen B. Read|
|Parent(s)||Alfred Mudge McCoy, Jr. (father)|
Margarita Piel (mother)
|Relatives||Lady Margarita Ground (sister)|
Piel Brothers (ancestors)
|Alma mater||Columbia University|
University of California, Berkeley
|Thesis||Yloilo: Factional Conflict in a Colonial Economy, Iloilo Province, Philippines, 1937-1955 (1977)|
|Doctoral advisor||Harold C. Conklin|
University of New South Wales
University of Wisconsin–Madison
|Doctoral students||Temario Rivera (1994)|
|Main interests||History of the Philippines|
Foreign policy of the United States
European colonisation of Southeast Asia
Illegal drug trade
Central Intelligence Agency covert operations
|Notable works||The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia (1972)|
Alfred "Al" William McCoy (born June 8, 1945 in Concord) is an American historian and educator. McCoy is currently the Fred Harvey Harrington Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He specializes in the history of the Philippines, foreign policy of the United States, European colonisation of Southeast Asia, illegal drug trade, and Central Intelligence Agency covert operations.
Born to Alfred Mudge McCoy, Jr. and Margarita Piel, a noted urban planner, educator, and descendant of the originators of Piels Beer, McCoy graduated from the Kent School in 1964, where he earned varsity letters in football, rowing, and wrestling. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in European History from Columbia University in 1968, a Master of Arts in Asian Studies from the University of California, Berkeley in 1969, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Southeast Asian History from Yale University in 1977. His dissertation, advised by Harold C. Conklin was entitled Yloilo: Factional Conflict in a Colonial Economy, Iloilo Province, Philippines, 1937-1955, which examined the region of Iloilo.
McCoy began his teaching career as a lecturer at Yale, while he was still a doctoral student (1976-1977). He spent the next academic year as a research fellow at the Australian National University. McCoy remained in Australia at the University of New South Wales as a lecturer (1978-1981), senior lecturer (1981-1985), and was eventually promoted to associate professor (1985-1989). He returned to the United States in 1989 as a full professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he has since spent his career. McCoy has been given two endowed chairs during his tenure: J.R.W. Smail (2004-2015) and Fred Harvey Harrington (2015-present).
On June 2, 1972, while studying at Yale, McCoy testified before the United States Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs of which Senator William Proxmire was chairman, and accused American government officials, such as G. McMurtrie Godley and Nelson G. Gross, of covering up drug trafficking in Southeast Asia. Soon after, McCoy reaffirmed these beliefs in a letter to Congressman Les Aspin.
McCoy allegedly uncovered drug trafficking methods for heroin and opium throughout Southeast Asia and to American troops stationed there by high-ranking government officials: Commander Ouane Rattikone and General Vang Pao (Laos); and President Nguyễn Văn Thiệu and General Đăng Văn Quang (Vietnam). McCoy also cited their ties with the mafia, namely a visit to Saigon in 1968 by Santo Trafficante Jr.. Senator Gale W. McGee dismissed the allegations and accused McCoy of McCarthyism, which was immediately rebutted. Senator Proxmire requested additional evidence and documentation to which McCoy responded his forthcoming book on the topic would serve as such. In that same year, McCoy's book, The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia, was published by Harper and Row. He restated that the Central Intelligence Agency was knowingly involved in the trade of heroin in the Golden Triangle.
- 1985 - Philippine National Book Award
- 1995 - Philippine National Book Award
- 1998 - Fulbright-Hays Program
- 2001 - Philippine National Book Award
- 2001 - Association for Asian Studies Grant Goodman Prize
- 2011 - Association for Asian Studies George Kahin Prize
- 2012 - Wilbur Cross Medal
- 2012 - University of Wisconsin-Madison Hilldale Award for Arts and Humanities
Film credits include:
|2007||Ghosts of Abu Ghraib||Self|
|2007||Taxi to the Dark Side||Self|
|2011||War on Terror||Self|
- McCoy, Alfred W. (2019). "Searching for Significance among Drug Lords and Death Squads: The Covert Netherworld as Invisible Incubator for Illicit Commerce". Journal of Illicit Economies and Development. 1(1): 9–22.