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American Business During World War II

Monday, June 04, 2012

Arthur Herman tells how American businessmen—automobile magnate William Knudsen and shipbuilder Henry J. Kaiser—helped mobilize the “arsenal of democracy” that propelled the Allies to victory in World War II. Freedom’s Forge: How American Business Produced Victory in World War II tells how Knudsen and Kaiser helped transformed America into an economic and military superpower.

Guests:

Arthur Herman
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Comments [3]

Jay from NYC

In Doris Kearns Goodwin's "No Ordinary Time" provides a detailed explanation of the home front during WW2.
Isn't the title a simplification of history? If the power from the Hoover Dam (a government project) had not been available -- how would we have powered the factories in the west.

The problem with a singular "great-man" presentation of history leaves out the efforts of millions and minimizes the contributions of ours soldiers. This rewrite of history attempts to laud the accomplishments of a few and justify the elitist principle and outsized rewards for a few. WW2 was a win based on the efforts of millions.

Jun. 04 2012 12:55 PM
Alvin from Manhattan

How much damage did traitors such as Prescott Bush do? While working at a white shoe Wall St. firm, he continued to provide financial services to German industry even after war was declared, and was accused of violating the Trading with the Enemy Act. (Prescott Bush was father of George H.W. Bush, and grandfather of George W. Bush.)

Jun. 04 2012 12:51 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Isn't it true that Henry Ford dragged his feet in retooling for war, because he couldn't see how making tanks would be more profitable to making cars? Of course, we know what were Henry Ford's basic sympathies lied at the time, but my understanding is that he really dragged his feet until really forced into it.

Jun. 04 2012 12:46 PM

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