Economics, Legislation, and Politics
DURING the late Thirties and the Forties, the magazine Fortune organized round tables at which important questions were discussed by a selected panel. These round tables were arranged by one of the Fortune editors, Russell Davenport. I attended two or three and remember one particularly well. Two of my fellow panelists I had not met before. One was Nelson Rockefeller, with whom I have since had a long and stimulating acquaintance. The other was Wendell Willkie. At that meeting we unknowingly officiated at the birth of the Willkie boom, which brought him the Republican nomination for the Presidency -- but not the Presidency itself.
Mr. Willkie's personality and ideas fascinated Davenport, as indeed they did all of us. Davenport gained as an ally Elihu Root II, and together they set out to capture the Republican nomination for Willkie. This they succeeded in doing. Willkie was a man well worth admiration and support. His qualities, as they impressed us, were admirable. He was no reactionary supporting institutions at the expense of people. He was a successful businessman with keen human instincts. He saw in sucessful business a means of helping people. But he was operating in a field (politics) with which he was unfamiliar, and of course failed to defeat Roosevelt.
My personal studies and my active experience in economics as