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“If Business and the Country Will Be Run Right:” The Business Challenge to the Liberal Consensus, 1945–1964

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 November 2007

Kim Phillips-Fein
New York University


“‘If Business and the Country Will Be Run Right:’ The Business Challenge to the Liberal Consensus, 1945–1964,” by Kim Phillips-Fein, looks at the mobilization of conservative businessmen against the liberal political economy that emerged from the New Deal and the Second World War. These businessmen were sharply critical of the expanded federal government and strong labor unions throughout the postwar period. They sought to challenge the liberal economic order by helping to build think tanks critical of liberalism, by fighting labor unions, and ultimately by participating in political activities like the right-to-work campaigns of 1958, the gubernatorial bid of William F. Knowland in California that same year, and the presidential campaign of Barry Goldwater. By demonstrating the development of a network of conservative businessmen during this period, the article challenges the idea that “consensus” is the appropriate framework for thinking about postwar political economy. It also suggests the centrality of issues of political economy in the rise of conservatism in the postwar United States.

Research Article
Copyright © The International Labor and Working-Class History Society 2007

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1. For examples of the diverse historiography shaped by the vision of the liberal consensus, see Collins, Robert, More: The Politics of Economic Growth in Postwar America (Oxford, 2000)Google Scholar; Matusow, Allen J., The Unraveling of America: A History of Liberalism in the 1960s (New York, 1984)Google Scholar; and Patterson, James, Grand Expectations: The United States, 1945–1974 (Oxford, 1996)Google Scholar.

2. Hodgson, Godfrey, America in Our Time (New York, 1978), 67, 72Google Scholar.

3. See, for example, Allen Matusow, The Unraveling of America: A History of Liberalism in the 1960s; Rieder, Jonathan, Canarsie: The Jews and Italians of Brooklyn against Liberalism (Cambridge, MA, 1985)Google Scholar; Edsall, Thomas Byrne and Edsall, Mary, Chain Reaction: The Impact of Race, Rights and Taxes on American Politics (New York, 1991)Google Scholar; Formisano, Ronald, Boston Against Busing: Race, Class and Ethnicity in the 1960s and 1970s (Chapel Hill, NC, 1991)CrossRefGoogle Scholar, and Lukas, J. Anthony, Common Ground: A Turbulent Decade in the Lives of Three American Families (New York, 1986)Google Scholar.

4. Three of the best examples of this new historiography are Perlstein, Rick, Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus (New York, 2001)Google Scholar; McGirr, Lisa, Suburban Warriors: The Making of the New American Right (Princeton, 2001)Google Scholar; and Schoenwald, Jonathan, A Time for Choosing: The Rise of Modern American Conservatism (Oxford, 2001)Google Scholar. Farber, David and Roche, Jeff, eds., The Conservative Sixties (Bern, 2003)Google Scholar provides a synthesis of the current scholarship on the “grassroots” conservative movement, while Critchlow, Donald, Phyllis Schlafly and Grassroots Conservatism: A Woman's Crusade (Princeton, 2005)Google Scholar treats one of the leading figures in the conservative movement as a grassroots leader.

5. Nash, George, The Conservative Intellectual Movement Since 1945 (Wilmington, DE, 1996)Google Scholar, first published in 1976, remains the classic work in the field to look at conservative intellectual life in the postwar years.

6. One book to look in depth at business opposition to and campaigns against New-Deal liberalism in the postwar period is Fones-Wolf, Elizabeth, Selling Free Enterprise: The Business Assault on Labor and Liberalism, 1945–1960 (Urbana, IL, 1994)Google Scholar. This excellent study focuses closely on business public relations campaigns through the NAM and other organizations. My work builds on that of Fones-Wolf by broadening the topic of study from the public relations campaigns of business to the efforts business conservatives made to build intellectual institutions and fight labor unions at their companies. Fraser, Steve and Gerstle, Gary, Ruling America: A History of Wealth and Power in a Democracy (Cambridge, MA, 2005)Google Scholar raises broader questions about the role of business in American politics, while Cowie, Jefferson, Capital Moves: RCA's Seventy-Year Quest for Cheap Labor (Ithaca, NY, 1999)Google Scholar looks at one company's decision to divest in the North and build factories in the South and ultimately in Mexico in the context of the corporate rejection of the New Deal.

7. Many scholars have argued that the economic critique of New Deal liberalism was not sufficient on its own to win popular support, and that it needed to be married to cultural politics. For examples of this argument, see Edsall, and Edsall, , Chain Reaction, and Sara Diamond, Roads to Dominion: Right-Wing Movements and Political Power in the United States (New York, 1996)Google Scholar; Himmelstein, Jerome, To the Right: The Transformation of American Conservatism (Berkeley, 1990)Google Scholar; Carter, Dan, The Politics of Rage: George Wallace, The Origins of the New Conservatism, and the Transformation of American Politics (Baton Rouge, 1996)Google Scholar. For a version of this argument applied to contemporary politics, see Frank, Thomas, What's the Matter with Kansas? (New York, 2004)Google Scholar.

8. Chappell, David, “The Triumph of Conservatives in a Liberal Age,” in Agnew, Jean-Christophe and Rosensweig, Roy, eds., Companion to Post-1945 America (Oxford, 2002), 312Google Scholar.

9. The infrequent use of replacements during strikes during the postwar period is a good example of the distinctive labor relations of the era. See Joseph A. McCartin, “‘Fire the Hell out of Them:’ Sanitation Workers' Struggles and the Normalization of the Striker Replacement Strategy in the 1970s,” Labor: Studies in Working-Class History of the Americas 2:3 (2005) for a piece that looks at the growing use of striker replacements in the 1970s in contrast with the earlier period.

10. Lichtenstein, Nelson, State of the Union: A Century of American Labor (Princeton, NJ, 2002)Google Scholar, Chapter 3, directly engages the problematic framework of a “labor-management accord” in characterizing the stance of business towards labor throughout the postwar period, and my work (especially the idea of a “standoff”) has been deeply shaped by the arguments he advances there and elsewhere. Nissen, Bruce, “A Post-World War II ‘Social Accord?’” in Nissen, Bruce, ed. U.S. Labor Relations, 1945–1989: Accommodation and Conflict (New York, 1990)Google Scholar, also raises the question. Krooss, Herbert, Executive Opinion: What Business Leaders Said and Thought on Economic Issues, 1920–1960 (New York, 1970)Google Scholar looks at the public pronouncements of businessmen and finds a continuing hostility to labor and government, albeit accompanied by a begrudging acceptance, in the postwar years. Witwer's, David article “Westbrook Pegler and the Anti-union Movement,” Journal of American History (September 2005), 527552CrossRefGoogle Scholar, provides an important look at the centrality of antilabor sentiment in the early years of the conservative movement. Jacoby, Sanford, modern Manors: Welfare Capitalism Since the New Deal (Princeton, 1997)Google Scholar, looks at the labor relations strategies of major nonunion companies in the postwar era and the impact that they had on other unionized corporations.

11. Griffith, Robert, “Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Corporate Commonwealth,” The American Historical Review 87:1 (February 1982), 87122CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

12. Ibid., 90.

13. Griffith, Robert, “The Selling of America: The Advertising Council and American Politics, 1942–1960.” Business History Review 57:3 (Autumn 1983), 388412CrossRefGoogle Scholar. Also see Collins, Robert, The Business Response to Keynes, 1929–1984 (New York, 1981)Google Scholar, for an analysis of the role of business-backed organizations, most importantly the Committee for Economic Development, in redefining and shaping Keynesianism in postwar America. Collins' book remains one of the best available on the adoption of Keynesian ideas by the CED and to a lesser extent the US Chamber of Commerce. However, because Collins is so closely focused on the CED and on Keynesian economics, the book does not look at the parallel creation of business conservative organizations, which criticized what they believed were trends toward socialism in the postwar world; nor does he consider the range of positions on organized labor and the welfare state more broadly, because of his emphasis on fiscal policy.

14. For a description of the diversity of the corporate liberals, see Robert Collins, The Business Response to Keynes, 203–4, and Robert Griffith, “Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Corporate Commonwealth,” 98–99. For an analysis of the business support for New Deal liberalism that argues that there were strong divisions by region and by economic sector, see Ferguson, Thomas, The Golden Rule (Chicago, 1995)Google Scholar and Thomas Ferguson and Rogers, Joel, Right Turn: The Decline of the Democrats and the Future of American Politics (New York, 1986)Google Scholar. Ferguson argues in chapters that focus on the 1930s that internationalist capital-intensive (and financial) corporations financially backed Democrats during the New Deal, while domestic labor-intensive manufacturers supported Republicans. He emphasizes the benefits that multinational companies and financiers reaped from the Democratic commitment to free trade, and argues that they were able to make concessions to unions in a way that the smaller manufacturers were not.

15. It should be noted that the political allegiances and ideology of American businessmen and women in the postwar period remains an extremely complex subject. Companies might take government contracts and negotiate with their unions even as they gave money to think tanks that promoted free-market politics. Individual businessmen could attend Eisenhower's stag dinners or sit on Truman's Committee on Civil Rights but also support antiunion programs at their own companies. Different leaders at particular companies sometimes took contradictory points of view; for example, during the 1950s the president of General Electric, Ralph Cordiner, was seen as a strong supporter of business conservatism, while the chairman of the Board, Philip Reed, was perceived by other business conservatives as a liberal. In other words, while it is important to try to assess the opinions of the business community as a whole, and to analyze divisions along lines of industrial size and sector where possible, another way to approach the problem is to look at the conservative movement and see how businessmen participated.

16. This is not to say that the political and ideological mobilization of business began with the New Deal. But the rise of the labor movement, the expansion of the state and the dominance of Keynesian economic ideas in the postwar period did change the context in which business organizations articulated their faith in the free market. For a new study of the efforts of business to influence ideology and politics before the 1930s, see Julia Ott, “When Wall Street Met Main Street: The Quest for an Investors' Democracy and the Emergence of the Retail Investor in the United States, 1890–1930,” Ph.D. Dissertation, Yale University, 2007.

17. For studies of the American Liberty League, see Rudolph, Frederick, “The American Liberty League, 1934–1940,” American Historical Review 56:1 (October 1950), 1933CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Wolfskill, George, The Revolt of the Conservatives: A History of the American Liberty League, 1934–1940 (Boston, 1962)Google Scholar; Burk, Robert, The Corporate State and the Broker State: The Du Ponts and American National Politics, 1925–1940 (Cambridge, MA, 1990)Google Scholar, and Farber, David, Sloan Rules: Alfred P. Sloan and the Triumph of General Motors (Chicago, 2002)Google Scholar.

18. On NAM's public relations campaigns, see Tedlow, Richard, “The National Association of Manufacturers and Public Relations During the New Deal.” Business History Review 50:1 (Spring 1976), 29CrossRefGoogle Scholar. On business during the war see Harris, Howell, The Right to Manage: Industrial Relations Policies of American Business in the 1940s (Madison, WI, 1982)Google Scholar.

19. Elizabeth Fones-Wolf, Selling Free Enterprise, 43; “New Deal for America's Employers,” Business Week, June 28, 1947.

20. Elizabeth Fones-Wolf, Selling Free Enterprise, 52–53.

21. See Robert Griffith, “The Selling of America,” for a description of the American Heritage campaign of the late 1940s and of other Advertising Council campaigns. For William Whyte, see Griffith, “The Selling of America,” 389, for citation of Whyte, William, Is Anybody Listening? (New York, 1952.)Google Scholar

22. The group changed its name to the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research in 1962.

23. See AEA pamphlet in W.C. Mullendore Papers, Carton 2, Knight Library, University of Oregon. See Smith, James A., The Idea Brokers: Think Thanks and the Rise of the New Policy Elite (New York, 1991)Google Scholar for a discussion of the early history of AEA. Also see Sam Rosenfeld, “From Lobbyists to Scholars: AEI and the Politics of Expertise, 1943–1964,” Senior Thesis, Columbia University, April 2004, 34, for the adoption of the new slogan. This senior thesis is the best essay yet written on AEI and my analysis relies on it throughout.

24. Report of the House Select Committee on Lobby Activities, December 1950. Box 11, Group Research Archives, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University.

25. The phrase can be found in Smith, James A., The Idea Brokers: Think Tanks and the Rise of the New Policy Elite (New York, 1991), 176Google Scholar. A longer discussion of Baroody and AEI can be found on 174–189.

26. Edgar Smith to W.L. Naylor of Gulf Oil, January 29, 1957. Box 42, Folder 7, William J. Baroody Papers, Library of Congress (hereafter WJB). See Sam Rosenfeld, “From Lobbyists to Scholars,” 34, for a detailed discussion of Baroody's fundraising strategies.

27. “Names and Addresses of AEA Trustees,” undated, Box 36, Folder 5, WJB. List of Trustees in letter from Frances McGavin to Elizabeth Fischer, November 13, 1958. Box 42, Folder 8, WJB.

28. William Baroody to Allen Marshall, August 1, 1958. Box 42, Folder 8, WJB.

29. Sources of Association Support, Meeting of the Board of Trustees, American Enterprise Association, March 13, 1958. Box 42, Folder 8, WJB.

30. American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research Attachment to Form 990-A, Calendar Year 1962. Richard Dudman Papers, Box 4. Library of Congress. The organization suggested that it received donations from a wide variety of companies. For example, one description of the group argued that its supporters included “some of the very largest as well as some of the smallest business firms in the country.” There was no schedule of dues; companies were asked to give what they could, and gifts ranged in size from $250 to $20,000. “The American Enterprise Association,” Samples of Enclosures, n/d. Box 56, Folder 3, WJB.

31. William Baroody to Harvey Peters, July 17, 1959. Box 40, Folder 4, WJB.

32. Sam Rosenfeld, “From Lobbyists to Scholars,” 45.

33. “Towering Stockpiles: In Time They Will Force Abandonment of Rigid High Farm Props,” July 20, 1954, Wall Street Journal. “The Tyranny of Plenty,” August 30, 1954, Newsweek. Group Research Archives, Box 11. Also see Sam Rosenfeld, “From Lobbyists to Scholars,” 40–41 for more on this and other successful interventions AEA made into the press.

34. “Labor Unions in Modern Society: A Description of the Overall Research Investigation,” undated but from late 1950s. Box 71, Folder 2, WJB. “Labor Unions in Modern Society: A Description of the Overall Research Investigation,” Confidential Memo presented at Trustees Meeting, March 31, 1959. Box 71, Folder 2, WJB. “Let's Give Two Cheers,” Fortune, September 1958.

35. Sam Rosenfeld, “From Lobbyists to Scholars,” 46.

36. Peter Steele to Hoyt P. Steele, June 14, 1958. Box 2, Peter Steele Papers, Knight Library, University of Oregon.

37. “Why Corporations Support Spiritual Mobilization,” 10/29/58. Folder 7, Box 89, James Ingebretsen Papers, Knight Library, University of Oregon.

38. “Confidential list of Corporate and Corporate Foundation Contributors,” Box 91, Folder 5, James Ingebretsen Papers. The list covers contributions of $250 or more in the period from January to November 1960, at which point Spiritual Mobilization was experiencing financial difficulties.

39. For the Volker Fund, see Hayek correspondence with W.H. Luhnow, Box 58, Folders 16–19, Friedrich Hayek Papers, Hoover Institution, Stanford University. For Crane and the contributors see Fritz Machlup, “Final Financial Statement on Princeton Meeting,” May 20, 1959. Sent to Jasper Crane, William Curtiss, John Davenport, Lawrence Fertig and Friedrich Hayek. Box 78, Folder 1, Friedrich Hayek Papers.

40. For Buckley and National Review the critical book remains Judis, John, William F. Buckley: Patron Saint of the Conservatives (New York, 1988)Google Scholar. For Sterling Morton, see Morton-Buckley correspondence, Box 51, Sterling Morton Papers, Chicago Historical Society.

41. Crane Fundraising Letter, April 25, 1957. Box 52, Jasper Elliott Crane Papers, Hagley Museum and Archive.

42. “Memorandum re: A New Magazine,” Carton 1, Buckley file, William C. Mullendore Papers, Knight Library, University of Oregon.

43. Hayek, Friedrich, The Constitution of Liberty (Chicago, 1960) 272Google Scholar.

44. “Labor Unions in Modern Society: A Description of the Overall Research Investigation,” Confidential Memo for Trustees Meeting, March 31, 1959, Box 71, Folder 2, WJB.

45. B.E. Hutchinson to David Lawrence, President of U.S. News Publishing Company, June 15, 1955. B.E. Hutchinson Papers, Box 39, Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

46. Gross, James A., Broken Promise: The Subversion of U.S. Labor Relations Policy, 1947–1994 (Philadelphia, 1995), 92122Google Scholar.

47. Communications Manual for Union Representation Elections, March 11, 1957. National Association of Manufacturers Papers, Accession 1411, Series 7, Box 128. Contains sample speeches and letters. Also see “Suggested Outline of Possible Problems Confronting the Employer when Faced with an Organizing Drive,” undated. National Association of Manufacturers Papers, Accession 1411, Series 7, Box 129. Many other examples of prototypes of letters and speeches and advice for companies fighting unionization can be found in these boxes and in Box 130. Hagley Museum and Archive, Wilmington, Delaware.

48. Goldfield, Michael, The Decline of Organized Labor in the United States. (Chicago, 1987), 196Google Scholar. For the decline in victories in union elections, see James Gross, Broken Promise, 137.

49. Uphoff, Walter, Thirty Years of Conflict: Kohler on Strike (Boston, 1966)Google Scholar remains the basic text on the Kohler Strike. Sylvester Petro, a conservative labor lawyer, also wrote a book on the strike, entitled The Kohler Strike: Union Violence and Administrative Law (Chicago, 1961).

50. Sterling Morton to William F. Buckley, August 5. 1957. Morton contributed $5,000 to the National Review along with this note. Box 51, Sterling Morton Papers, Chicago Historical Society.

51. Accounts of the various speaking engagements are drawn from the Local 833 UAW Papers and Region 10 UAW Papers, both at the Walter Reuther Library, Wayne State University.

52. For National Review, see William A. Rusher to Sterling Morton, August 19, 1957. Box 51, Sterling Morton Papers, Chicago Historical Society. For the Manion Forum, see Lyman Conger chain letter fundraising for Manion Forum, January 24, 1958. Folder 20, Box 8, Local 833 UAW Papers; the Manion Forum also featured the Kohler Company in its own fundraising appeals (especially after certain radio networks refused to carry a Manion broadcast interviewing Herbert Kohler, claiming it was libelous). See “Dear Mr. American Businessman,” from L.F. Reardon, Vice-President in Charge of Organization, November 4, 1957. Folder 8, Box 8, Region 10 UAW Papers, Walter Reuther Library, Wayne State University. For fundraising for YAF, see Robert Schurman to Peter Steele, February 9, 1961; Box 2, Peter Steele Papers, Knight Library, University of Oregon. For Kohler participation in the right-to-work movement, see “Summary of Talks Made at Atlanta Chamber of Commerce Luncheon Meeting,” Lucius Chase speech, Kohler general counsel and member of the National Chamber of Commerce Committee on Secondary Boycotts, May 14, 1957. Folder 4, Box 31, Local 833 UAW Papers.

53. See Hearings Before the Select Committee on Improper Activities in the Labor or Management Field, 85th Congress, Second Session, 1958, for the transcript of the hearings at which Reuther appeared. Also see Rick Perlstein, Before the Storm, 34–42, for a discussion of how the hearings affected Goldwater's image.

54. William B. Harris, “The Overhaul of General Electric,” Fortune 12/55. Also see the discussions of Boulwarism in Schatz, Ronald, The Electrical Worker: A History of Labor at General Electric and Westinghouse, 1929–1960 (Urbana, IL, 1983)Google Scholar; Saloma, John, Ominous Politics: The New Conservative Labrynth (New York, 1984)Google Scholar; and Davis, Mike, Prisoners of the American Dream: Politics and Economy in the History of the U.S. Working Class (London, 1986)Google Scholar.

55. Ronald Schatz, “The End of Corporate Liberalism: Class Struggle in the Electrical Manufacturing Industry.” Radical America 9 (July–August 1975) discusses the 1946 strike at GE. Also see Northrup, Herbert, Boulwarism (Ann Arbor, 1964), 21Google Scholar.

56. Northrup, Herbert, “The Case for Boulwarism,” Harvard Business Review, September-October 1963, 8788Google Scholar. Also see Northrup, Herbert, Boulwarism (Ann Arbor, 1964)Google Scholar.

57. “Proposed Program of Industrial and Community Relations,” August 1, 1945. Charles E. Wilson wrote a note on top of the memo: “Mr. Boulware: A splendid contribution, I think. Give it wide distribution.” Box 8, Folder 154, MS Collection 52, Lemuel Ricketts Boulware Papers, Van Pelt Library, University of Pennsylvania (hereafter LRB).

58. Lemuel Boulware, The Truth About Boulwarism, 38.

59. Ronald Schatz, The Electrical Workers, 233–238. For GE's policy of favoring plants in locations friendly to business, see Box 35, Folder 904, LRB and Box 42, Folder 1180, LRB.

60. Lemuel Boulware, “Salvation is Not Free,” in Box 59, Accession 5583/1, AOF.

61. “Management's No. 1 Worry,” Business Week, March 23, 1957.

62. Stebenne, David, Arthur J. Goldberg: New Deal Liberal (Oxford, 1996), 175187Google Scholar. Also see Stebenne, 140, for the impact of Boulware's ideas on the steel companies, and the limits of Boulwarism in steel. The spread of resistance to unions in the late 1950s was not limited to small corporations; Stebenne describes the way that larger steel companies like Jones & Laughlin and National Steel provided legal assistance to Lone Star in its struggle against the union.

63. Bella, Salvatore, “Boulwarism and Collective Bargaining at General Electric: A Study in Labor-Management Relations” (Ph.D. Dissertation, Cornell University, 1962), 410422Google Scholar.

64. For descriptions of the strike, see “The Story of General Electric's 1960 Negotiations with the IUE.” LRB, Box 10, Folder 209. Also Kannenberg, “The Product of GE's Progress,” 266–278.

65. A.H. Raskin, New York Times, 10/25/60.

66. See Herbert Northrup, “The Case for Boulwarism,” Harvard Business Review, September-October 1963; “Dedication to the Past,” unsigned editorial, Wall Street Journal, October 25, 1960; “Tougher Bargaining,” Wall Street Journal, November 9, 1960.

67. For some examples see Raymond Dykema to Lemual Boulware, November 1, 1960. Dykema was a partner at Dykema, Wheat, Spencer, Goodnow, and Trigg, a law office in Detroit, Box 35, Folder 942, LRB; Maxwell Goodwin to Lemuel Boulware, October 25, 1960, Box 37, Folder 1044, LRB; Donald Ordway to Lemuel Boulware, October 28, 1960, Box 47, Folder 1370, LRB; Arthur Rosenbaum to Lemuel Boulware, October 25, 1960, Box 49, Folder 1472, LRB; Maurice Franks to Lemuel Boulware, November 2, 1960, Box 37, Folder 1010, LRB.

68. Roger Milliken was a South Carolina textile manufacturer who closed his factory after a union won an election there rather than enter into negotiations. For Milliken closing the factory, see Rick Perlstein, Before the Storm, 48. For Boulware's visit to Spartanburg, see Boulware to Milliken, August 2, 1962, Box 45, Folder 1290, LRB.

69. Lemuel Boulware, “Politics: The Businessman's Biggest Job in 1958,” Box 61, Accession 5583/1, AOF.

70. Maxwell Goodwin to Lemuel Boulware, October 25, 1960, Box 37, Folder 1044, LRB.

71. James Gross, Broken Promise: The Subversion of U.S. Labor Relations Policy, 1947–1994, 187–189. GE immediately appealed the decision, but the Second Court of Appeals upheld the decision of the NLRB in 1969. The company suffered another ideological blow late in 1960, when executives at the company pled guilty to charges of conspiring with top management figures at other companies to fix prices. See Anthony Lewis, “19 Big Companies Admit Price Plot in Electrical Field,” New York Times, December 9, 1960.

72. See Evans, Thomas, The Education of Ronald Reagan: The General Electric Years and the Untold Story of His Conversion to Conservatism (New York, 2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar, for a discussion of Reagan's years at GE. Also see Oral History of Earl Dunckel, by Gabrielle Morris (1982): Ronald Reagan and the General Electric Theater, 1954–55, Bancroft Library, University of California at Berkeley and Oral History of Jacquelin Hume, by Gabrielle Morris (1982): Basic Economics and the Body Politic: Views of a Northern California Reagan Loyalist, Bancroft Library, University of California at Berkeley; Wills, Garry, Reagan's America: Innocents at Home (Garden City, NY, 1987)Google Scholar; and Reagan to Boulware, January 13, 1966; Boulware to Reagan, December 17, 1974; Reagan to Boulware, January 2, 1975; Reagan to Boulware, undated but sometime in 1981. All in Box 48, Folder 1435, LRB. Boulware was also a supporter of Barry Goldwater.

73. See Elizabeth Fones-Wolf, Selling Free Enterprise: The Business Assault on Labor and Liberalism, 257–261, for an excellent discussion of how COPE and the AFL-CIO merger influenced the business community.

74. Wuerthner, J.J., The Businessman's Guide to Practical Politics (Chicago, 1959), 33Google Scholar. Wuerthher had participated in a Task Force on Practical Politics in Syracuse, New York, which had been founded following a report by a committee headed by another GE manager finding that the “business climate” in Syracuse and upstate New York was darkening, due to high business taxes and individual state income taxes and a broadly critical attitude towards business in the region. An intensive period of local organizing followed, including seminars for businessmen who wanted to be involved in grassroots politics. Wuerthner described these efforts in his book; they were also covered in the Wall Street Journal, but without special reference to the role of GE management in getting the program off the ground. See Lewis Tanzer, “Business and Elections,” October 14, 1958, Wall Street Journal. Also see Thomas Evans, The Education of Ronald Reagan, 92–3.

75. Charles M. Sligh, “Congress, Labor Unions, and the Public,” July 31, 1958, Chautauqua, New York, NAM Papers, Accession 1411, Series 1, Box 107, Hagley Museum and Library.

76. White, F. Clifton, Politics as a Noble Calling (Ottawa, IL, 1994), 112Google Scholar.

77. Ibid., 114–120. Also see references to ECO in Horace E. Sheldon, “Businessmen Must Get Into Politics,” Harvard Business Review (March–April 1959).

78. Galligan, David, Politics and the Businessman (New York, 1964), 1133Google Scholar.

79. “Politics and the Corporation,” unsigned editorial, Fortune, 1958. The Harvard Business Review also ran essays about business in politics, including Sheldon, “Businessmen Must Get Into Politics,” cited above; Michael D. Reagan, “The Seven Fallacies of Business in Politics,” HBR (March–April 1960); and “Business and Politics, 1964,” HBR (September–October 1964).

80. L.B. Lane of the Lane Company in Altavista, Virginia, to Charles Sligh, February 24, 1956. Folder labeled “February 1956 correspondence,” Box 11, Sligh Family Papers, Bentley Library, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

81. For descriptions of the strategies and tactics of the right-to-work campaigns, see Elizabeth Fones-Wolf, Selling Free Enterprise, 257–278; Witney, Fred, “The Indiana Right-to-Work Law,” Industrial Labor Relations Review 11 (July 1958), 506517CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Glenn W. Miller and Stephen B. Ware, “Organized Labor in the Political Process: A Case Study of the Right-to-Work Campaign in Ohio,” Labor History 4, (Winter 1963); and Gall, Gilbert, The Politics of Right-to-Work: The Labor Federations as Special Interests, 1943–1979 (New York, 1988)Google Scholar.

82. Reed Larson, January 1959, “How Right to Work Was Adopted in Kansas,” Box 2, National Right to Work Committee Papers, Hoover Institute, Stanford University. A copy of a June 1958 statement on right-to-work by the president of Boeing to Boeing supervisors can be found in William F. Knowland Papers, Box 115, Bancroft Library, University of California at Berkeley (hereafter WFK).

83. In Arizona in the same year, Barry Goldwater won re-election to the Senate in a campaign that also echoed many of the anti-labor themes that were the staples of the right-to-work campaigns. Goldwater's antiunion messages garnered support from working-class and white-collar voters alike. See Elizabeth Tandy Shermer, “Courting Workers and Fighting Unions: Barry Goldwater's Early Senate Campaigns and Assault on Organized Labor,” unpublished paper in possession of the author, for a discussion of the 1958 campaign and the working-class response; also see Rick Perlstein, Before the Storm, 39–42.

84. Montgomery, Gayle B. and Johnson, James W., in collaboration with Manolis, Paul, One Step from the White House: The Rise and Fall of Senator William F. Knowland (Berkeley, 1998), 238241Google Scholar.

85. Steven D. Edgington and Lawrence B. de Graaf, The ‘Kitchen Cabinet,’: Four California Citizen Advisors of Ronald Reagan, Oral History of Edward Mills, Bancroft Library, University of California at Berkeley, 62 and 67, for Rubel, Jones and Quinton. Also see Schuparra, Kurt, Triumph of the Right: The Rise of the California Conservative Movement, 1945–1966 (Armonk, NY, 1998), 2732Google Scholar.

86. Lowell Edington to Stuart Hinckley, September 5, 1958, Box 103, Folder 5, WFK.

87. Letter dated October 13, 1958, Box 104, Folder 1, WFK.

88. One letter from G. Randolph Babcock of North Carolina dated August 12, 1958, Box 119, WFK. Another letter, also from the Virginia-Carolina Chemical Corporation, appears in Box 104, Folder 1, WFK.

89. “George Todt's Opinion,” January 21, 1958, newspaper unclear, Box 121, WFK.

90. Robert C. Lindsey to Robert Barkell and Edward Shattuck, undated but clearly after the primary, Box 104, WFK.

91. Jo Duvall to Knowland campaign, December 28, 1957, Box 105, WFK.

92. For one example of a supportive letter, see John Johnson to William F. Knowland, December 1, 1957, Box 105, WFK Papers. Johnson described himself as a “rank and file member of Organized Labor,” and said that he felt that union members would get better representation if labor leaders had to “do a ‘selling job’ to us—and continually to demonstrate that they're acting primarily in our interests.”

93. Cecil B. De Mille to Robert Finch, July 31, 1958. Box 119, WFK.

94. Kurt Schuparra, Triumph of the Right, 37.

95. See Rick Perlstein, Before the Storm, 3–16, 417–418, 420–421, 457. Business conservatives bought copies of Conscience of a Conservative in large quantities (for example, see Robert Love to Clarence Manion, March 21, 1960, Folder 4, Box 68, Clarence Manion Papers; Clarence Manion to Roger Milliken, May 6, 1960, Folder 6, Box 68, Clarence Manion Papers, Chicago Historical Society). Also see List of Contributors, $500 and up, January 19, 1964, Box 7, F. Clifton White Papers, #2006, Division of Rare and Manuscripts Collection, Cornell University Library.

96. Kim McQuaid, Big Business and Presidential Power, 231.

97. Denison Kitchel to supporters, December 10, 1964. Box 1, Denison Kitchel Papers, Hoover Institute.

98. Although business conservatives may not have advanced much in the late 1960s the business community as a whole continued to become politicized. See Martin, Cathie Jo, “Business and the New Economic Activism: The Growth of Corporate Lobbies in the Sixties,” Polity 27:1 (Autumn 1994), 4976CrossRefGoogle Scholar, for an interesting discussion of the ways that the Johnson administration in particular sought to develop links between executives and the White House. Also see Theodore Levitt, “The Johnson Treatment,” Harvard Business Review, January–February 1967 and Harold Meyers, “LBJ's Romance with Business,” Fortune, September 1964. Yet even in the late 1960s business conservatives continued to seek to strengthen their position vis-à-vis unions. James Gross, in Broken Promise, 192–241, discusses the Labor Law Reform Group, which reflected the continued efforts of a broad range of businesses to obtain more favorable labor laws; the organization would ultimately merge into the Business Roundtable.

99. For scholarship on the business mobilization of the 1970s, see Vogel, David, Fluctuating Fortunes: The Political Power of Business in America (New York, 1989)Google Scholar; Akard, Patrick, “Corporate Mobilization and the Transformation of U.S. Economic Policy in the 1970s,” American Sociological Review 57 (October 1992), 597615CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Kim McQuaid, “The Roundtable: Getting Results in Washington,” Harvard Business Review (May–June 1981); Micklethwait, John and Woodridge, Adrian, The Right Nation: Conservative Power in America (New York, 2004)Google Scholar; Benjamin C. Waterhouse, “The Creation of the Business Roundtable and Corporate Activism in the Early 1970s,” unpublished paper in possession of the author; Saloma, John S. III, Ominous Politics: The New Conservative Labyrinth (New York, 1984)Google Scholar; Blumenthal, Sidney, The Rise of the Counter-Establishment: From Conservative Ideology to Political Power (New York, 1986)Google Scholar; Himmelstein, To the Right, 129–164. Also see Kelley, John, Bringing the Market Back In: The Political Revitalization of Market Liberalism (New York, 1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar for a take on the revival of market ideas that focuses on the 1970s.

100. See James Gross, Broken Promise: The Subversion of U.S. Labor Relations Policy, 1947–1994 and Goldfield, The Decline of Organized Labor in the United States.

101. There is much scholarship on the backlash of the 1970s and the rise of cultural conservatism; see footnote 7 above, especially Himmelstein, To the Right, 164, for a discussion of the interaction between cultural and religious conservatism and business mobilization. Historians have recently started to look more closely at the nature of the racial ideology promoted by the conservative movement of the 1970s, arguing that it relied less on appeals to straightforward racism—like those promoted by George Wallace—and more on arguments about individualism, “color-blindness,” and meritocracy which emerged from a suburban middle-class that was complacent regarding racial injustice and reluctant to relinquish its privileges. This view is presented in Lassiter, Matthew, The Silent Majority: Suburban Politics in the Sunbelt South (Princeton, NJ, 2006)Google Scholar. Recent work by political scientist Larry Bartels also suggests that free-market economic ideas hold their own independent appeal for Americans, regardless of their link to conservative cultural politics. See Bartels, Larry, “Homer Gets a Tax Cut: Inequality and Public Policy in the American Mind,” Perspectives on Politics 3:1, (March 2005), 1531CrossRefGoogle Scholar; and “What's the Matter with What's the Matter with Kansas?Quarterly Journal of Political Science 1 (2006), 201–226.