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Henry J Kaiser

Author: Mark S. Foster
Publisher: University of Texas Press
ISBN: 0292736452
Size: 52.52 MB
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In the 1940s Henry J. Kaiser was a household name, as familiar then as Warren Buffett and Donald Trump are now. Like a Horatio Alger hero, Kaiser rose from lower-middle-class origins to become an enormously wealthy entrepreneur, building roads, bridges, dams, and housing. He established giant businesses in cement, aluminum, chemicals, steel, health care, and tourism. During World War II, his companies built cargo planes and Liberty ships. After the war, he manufactured the Kaiser-Frazer automobile. Along the way, he also became a major force in the development of the western United States, including Hawaii. Henry J. Kaiser: Builder in the Modern American West is the first biography of this remarkable man. Drawing on a wealth of archival material never before utilized, Mark Foster paints an evenhanded portrait of a man of driving ambition and integrity, perhaps the ultimate "can-do" capitalist. He covers Kaiser's entire life (1882–1967), emphasizing many business ventures. He demonstrates that Kaiser was the prototypical "frontier" entrepreneur who often used government and union support to tame the "wilderness." Though today the Kaiser industries are no longer under family management, the Kaiser legacy remains great. Kaiser played a major role in building the Hoover, Bonneville, Grand Coulee, and Shasta dams. The Kaiser-Permanente Medical Care Program still provides comprehensive health care for millions of subscribers. Kaiser-planned communities remain in Los Angeles; San Francisco; Portland, Oregon; and Boulder City, Nevada. Kaiser Engineers was actively engaged in hundreds of huge construction jobs across the nation and around the world. U.S. and business historians, scholars of the modern West, and general readers will all find much to absorb them in this well-written biography.

Henry J Kaiser Western Colossus

Author: Albert P. Heiner
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780962287435
Size: 80.10 MB
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A full-dimension view of America's boldest, most spectacular entrepreneur. Here is the larger-than-life builder who created a legendary industrial empire, established the nation's most successful health care program, helped win World War II and changed forever the face of western America. Through a good portion of Kaiser's career, Al Heiner was there -- as a public relations officer for Kaiser Steel, but also as an eyewitness to many of the events that make this biography such lively reading.

Mr Kaiser Goes To Washington

Author: Stephen B. Adams
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 9780807823583
Size: 46.19 MB
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In the 1940s, the name Henry J. Kaiser was magic. Based on the success of his shipyards, Kaiser was hailed by the national media as the force behind a 'can-do' production miracle and credited by the American public with doing more to help President Roosevelt win World War II than any other civilian. Kaiser also built an empire in construction, cement, magnesium, steel, and aluminum_all based on government contracts, government loans, and changes in government regulations. In this book, Stephen Adams offers Kaiser's story as the first detailed case study of 'government entrepreneurship.' Taking a fresh look at the birth of modern business-government relations, he explores the symbiotic connection forged between FDR and Kaiser. Adams shows that while Kaiser capitalized on opportunities provided by the growth of the federal government, FDR found in Kaiser an industrial partner whose enterprises embodied New Deal goals. The result of a confluence of administration policy and entrepreneurial zeal, Kaiser's dramatic rise illustrates the important role of governmental relations in American entrepreneurial success.

Structures In The Stream

Author: Todd Shallat
Publisher: University of Texas Press
ISBN: 0292785887
Size: 44.55 MB
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As the Mississippi and other midwestern rivers inundated town after town during the summer of 1993, concerned and angry citizens questioned whether the very technologies and structures intended to "tame" the rivers did not, in fact, increase the severity of the floods. Much of the controversy swirled around the apparent culpability of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the builder of many of the flood control systems that failed. In this book, Todd Shallat examines the turbulent first century of the dam and canal building Corps and follows the agency's rise from European antecedents through the boom years of river development after the American Civil War. Combining extensive research with a lively style, Shallat tells the story of monumental construction and engineering fiascoes, public service and public corruption, and the rise of science and the army expert as agents of the state. More than an institutional history, Structures in the Stream offers significant insights into American society, which has alternately supported the public works projects that are a legacy of our French heritage and opposed them based on the democratic, individualist tradition inherited from Britain. It will be important reading for a wide audience in environmental, military, and scientific history, policy studies, and American cultural history.

Technology In Postwar America

Author: Carroll Pursell
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231511892
Size: 37.20 MB
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Carroll Pursell tells the story of the evolution of American technology since World War II. His fascinating and surprising history links pop culture icons with landmarks in technological innovation and shows how postwar politics left their mark on everything from television, automobiles, and genetically engineered crops to contraceptives, Tupperware, and the Veg-O-Matic. Just as America's domestic and international policies became inextricably linked during the Cold War, so did the nation's public and private technologies. The spread of the suburbs fed into demands for an interstate highway system, which itself became implicated in urban renewal projects. Fear of slipping into a postwar economic depression was offset by the creation of "a consumers' republic" in which buying and using consumer goods became the ultimate act of citizenship and a symbol of an "American Way of Life." Pursell begins with the events of World War II and the increasing belief that technological progress and the science that supported it held the key to a stronger, richer, and happier America. He looks at the effect of returning American servicemen and servicewomen and the Marshall Plan, which sought to integrate Western Europe into America's economic, business, and technological structure. He considers the accumulating "problems" associated with American technological supremacy, which, by the end of the 1960s, led to a crisis of confidence. Pursell concludes with an analysis of how consumer technologies create a cultural understanding that makes political technologies acceptable and even seem inevitable, while those same political technologies provide both form and content for the technologies found at home and at work. By understanding this history, Pursell hopes to advance a better understanding of the postwar American self.

Build Em By The Mile Cut Em Off By The Yard

Author: Steve Gilford
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780615648736
Size: 66.88 MB
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"This book is about a time when millions of Americans put their hearts, minds, and bodies into a clearly recognized goal, defeating the forces of Germany and Japan. The stories of the people who accomplished this are a reminder of the potential of this nation to rise up and meet a challenge. The Second World War is long over [but] once again, vital challenges face us. When they seem overwhelming and when the task seems as though it might be too much for us, we can turn to the example of America's World War II home front and in particular to the Kaiser Shipyards in Richmond, California." - Congressman George Miller

Nation On Wheels

Author: Mark S. Foster
Publisher: Wadsworth Publishing Company
ISBN: 9780155075429
Size: 60.73 MB
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Examines the impact of the automobile on American society since the end of World War Two in the areas of mass transit, development of the United Auto Workers, rise of suburbia, auto racing, and the automobile's relationship to the youth culture.

The American West

Author: Larry Schweikart
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Incorporated
ISBN:
Size: 77.60 MB
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Alphabetically arranged entries cover the key events, personalities, culture and traditions, and technology found in the American West.

Colossus

Author: Michael Hiltzik
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781439181584
Size: 32.75 MB
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As breathtaking today as the day it was completed, Hoover Dam not only shaped the American West but helped launch the American century. In the depths of the Great Depression it became a symbol of American resilience and ingenuity in the face of crisis, putting thousands of men to work in a remote desert canyon and bringing unruly nature to heel. Pulitzer Prize–winning writer Michael Hiltzik uses the saga of the dam’s conception, design, and construction to tell the broader story of America’s efforts to come to grips with titanic social, economic, and natural forces. For embodied in the dam’s striking machine-age form is the fundamental transformation the Depression wrought in the nation’s very culture—the shift from the concept of rugged individualism rooted in the frontier days of the nineteenth century to the principle of shared enterprise and communal support that would build the America we know today. In the process, the unprecedented effort to corral the raging Colorado River evolved from a regional construction project launched by a Republican president into the New Deal’s outstanding—and enduring—symbol of national pride. Yet the story of Hoover Dam has a darker side. Its construction was a gargantuan engineering feat achieved at great human cost, its progress marred by the abuse of a desperate labor force. The water and power it made available spurred the development of such great western metropolises as Los Angeles, Phoenix, Denver, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, and San Diego, but the vision of unlimited growth held dear by its designers and builders is fast turning into a mirage. In Hiltzik’s hands, the players in this epic historical tale spring vividly to life: President Theodore Roosevelt, who conceived the project; William Mulholland, Southern California’s great builder of water works, who urged the dam upon a reluctant Congress; Herbert Hoover, who gave the dam his name though he initially opposed its construction; Frank Crowe, the dam’s renowned master builder, who pushed his men mercilessly to raise the beautiful concrete rampart in an inhospitable desert gorge. Finally there is Franklin Roosevelt, who presided over the ultimate completion of the project and claimed the credit for it. Hiltzik combines exhaustive research, trenchant observation, and unforgettable storytelling to shed new light on a major turning point of twentieth-century history.