The New Deal to the Carter Administration - Vol. 3

By Philip H. Burch Jr. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 4

The Eisenhower Administration

In 1952 the American people turned away from the Democratic party and elected an idolized World War II general, Dwight D. Eisenhower, as President of the United States. Indeed, such was Eisenhower's popularity that he was reelected by an even greater margin (almost 10 million votes) in 1956, thereby giving the Republican party eight years of uninterrupted rule.

Aside from the areas of civil rights and the cold war, the Eisenhower administration has generally been characterized as a period of relative tranquility in which the nation attempted to return to a course of moderation after two decades of rather turbulent Democratic control. The amiable Eisenhower was widely proclaimed to be a middle-of-the-roader, or to use another politically appealing phrase, as a man who believed in "dynamic conservatism." Few new domestic programs were initiated under Eisenhower, and his foreign policy was designed primarily to contain the real or imagined threats posed by various Communist forces in the world

There was also relatively little change in the economic structure of the country during this period. Outside of a marked increase in relative size, there was only one noteworthy alteration in the makeup of the nation's "top 20" industrial firms (half of which were still oil companies), and that was the emergence of IBM, which by 1960 had assets of over $1.5 billion, as a new member of this elite group. 1 There was, likewise, little shift in the overall ranking of America's major public utilities, for AT&T remained in a class by itself in this area. Perhaps the most noteworthy development here was the rapid growth of a number of big natural gas companies in the southwestern section of the country. In the realm of transportation, the railroads, following a long-term trend, continued to lag. 2 But the nation's larger airlines had grown in assets to the point where three of these comparatively new concerns—American Airlines, Pan-American World Airways, and United Air Lines—had climbed into the "top 20" category.

The world of finance, however, deserves special attention because of certain mergers which took place during this period and because of the unusual, partially concealed power exercised by some of these institutions.

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The New Deal to the Carter Administration - Vol. 3
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Elites in American History - The New Deal to the Carter Administration *
  • Contents vii
  • Tables ix
  • Preface and Acknowledgments xi
  • Chapter 1 - Introduction 1
  • Chapter 2 - The New Deal 13
  • Chapter 3 - The World War II and Truman Years 69
  • Chapter 4 - The Eisenhower Administration 123
  • Chapter 5 - The Kennedy-Johnson Years 169
  • Chapter 6 - The Nixon-Ford Regime 231
  • Chapter 7 - The Carter Administration 307
  • Chapter 8 - Conclusion 359
  • Appendix A 399
  • Appendix B 519
  • Index 535
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