This chapter begins with a look at the atheoretical efforts to promote industrialization by Latin American industrialists and their spokesmen in the pre-War era, followed by an examination of the growth and the development of the UN Economic Commission for Latin America1 (best known by its Spanish acronym, CEPAL). A discussion of CEPAL’s activities in the 1950s and 1960s ensues. This was the period of CEPAL’s greatest influence on governments, in which the organization developed and propagated a rationale for industrialization led by national states. Beginning in the late 1960s, a series of crises arose not foreseen in the 1950s, followed by a ten-year period of stagnation that forced a reworking of CEPAL’s theses in 1990. In the chapter I make special reference to Brazil, the country in which CEPAL’s influence in the 1950s and 1960s was arguably greatest, and the country whose economic history I know best.