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Abstract

Over the past decade historians have explored the rise of the midtwentieth- century population/family planning movement on both the international and the local levels. This article bridges the gap between these studies by exploring the work diaries of Dr. Adaline Pendleton ("Penny") Satterthwaite, a midlevel technical advisor who traveled to over two dozen countries for the Population Council from 1965 to 1974. Penny's diaries draw our attention to a diverse network of advocates who mediated between international population activists, state actors, and local communities while also acting as conduits for the transnational spread of strategies and resources. Her experiences also provide evidence of the coercive practices, gendered tensions, and political conflicts shaping the movement while illustrating the resistance and engagement of local actors, the existence of health- and women-centered approaches even during the high period of population control, and the many structural and social barriers shaping family planning projects in practice.

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