The New Deal to the Carter Administration - Vol. 3

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

CHAPTER 5

The Kennedy-Johnson Years

The eight-year period following the Eisenhower administration was marked by a number of important economic and political developments. Nowhere was there more striking change than in the industrial sphere. Indeed, primarily because of the war in Vietnam, manufacturing firms grew at a truly remarkable rate during this period, some mainly through expanded production and sales, others mostly through the absorption of various, usually lesser, concerns. IBM was a prime example of the first kind of corporation. It grew from about $1.5 billion in assets in 1960 to more than $6.7 billion by 1968, a spectacular rise that made it America's seventh largest manufacturing firm (sixth, if volume of sales is used as a standard). But there were many other companies which chose to expand through mergers, some to such an extent that they came to stand as symbols of a new form of economic enterprise, the giant conglomerate. One of the best known of these was the International Telephone & Telegraph Corp., which, under the aggressive leadership of its president, Harold Geneen, took over a host of other companies and in the process transformed itself into more of a manufacturing firm than a public utility. Similarly, in the 1960s several railroads broadened the scope of their operations to counteract their declining passenger business, altering their names to reflect this fact; the Chicago and Northwestern Railway, for example, became Northwest Industries, Inc., and the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway was transformed into Santa Fe Industries, Inc.

As a matter of fact, the mid and late 1960s witnessed the greatest wave of corporate mergers in the nation's history. Not all represented the absorption of small or medium-sized concerns by larger units. A number of these transactions involved one big company buying out another. For instance, the Union Oil Co. of California took over the Pure Oil Co. (which had assets of $766 million), the Atlantic Refining Corp. acquired the Richfield Oil Corp. (which had assets of $450 million), the McDonnell Aircraft Corp. bought out the Douglas Aircraft Co. (which had assets of $565 million), Montgomery Ward and Co. merged with the Container Corp. of America (which had assets of nearly $400 million), and the Texas-based conglomerate, Ling

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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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