Eisenhower and the Cold War Economy
Publication Year: 2011
Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press
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Our book challenges what many people think they know about the Eisenhower administration: that for eight years the White House was focused on military and foreign policy, while in domestic affairs it produced a “middle way” between what New Dealers and conservative Republicans advocated. This latter portrayal is not so much inaccurate as insufficient...
Prologue: Preparing for the Presidency
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Eisenhower took office in January 1953 in a transformed world of international and domestic politics. He had spent much of the previous seven years advising President Harry S. Truman and his administration on how the military should adjust to a new international environment....
PART 1 MACRO-LEVEL ECONOMIC POLICIES
1 Setting a Consistent Course, 1953–1956
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Eisenhower came to office determined to put a clear stamp on economic policy, one that would distinguish his Republican administration from that of his Democratic predecessors. Truman’s fiscal 1954 (July 1953– June 1954) bud get proposal called for spending an extraordinary...
2 Economic Policy in Good Times, 1955–1957
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Good economic times challenged Eisenhower’s economic policy goals almost as much as the problems of recession had. Following the recession of 1953– 54, the economy did well. In par ticular, 1955 was the height of a boom between 1954 and 1957. In 1955, gross national...
3 Narrowing the Course, 1957–1961
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Eisenhower addressed inflation early in his State of the Union address on January 10, 1957, days before he took the oath of office for a second time. “The principal threat,” he said, “to the functioning of a free enterprise system is inflation.” During his second term less and less...
PART 2 MICROECONOMIC POLICIES
4 Agriculture: A Tough Battle
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Eisenhower sought to reform federal agricultural programs to reinvigorate market incentives, which had been displaced and distorted by high, inflexible congressionally mandated price supports imposed since the early 1940s. The price supports were originally designed to spur American farm production during World War II, but their rationale...
5 A Coalescing Antitrust Policy
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When Eisenhower took office in 1953, antitrust law was not one of his immediate concerns. Nevertheless, Eisenhower, his politically attuned attorney general Herbert Brownell, and others in the administration understood the importance of antitrust. On a strictly political...
6 Foreign Economic Policy
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When Eisenhower took office in January 1953, he set specific goals for American foreign economic policy: reinforcing the US commitment to liberal trade policies, which had slipped during the second Truman administration; increasing American private investment overseas;...
Epilogue: The Eisenhower Legacy
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As Eisenhower’s time in office approached its end, he began to reflect on his legacy. On the economic front, there were several achievements of which he was proud. Two decades after President Herbert Hoover left the White House in the midst of the worst economic collapse...
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We would like to acknowledge the assistance and careful reading of the manuscript by Louis Galambos, the co-editor of The Papers of Dwight David Eisenhower.1 Robert Brugger at the Johns Hopkins University Press has been a dedicated editor, and we benefited also from the comments and...
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Essay on Primary Sources
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Page Count: 320
Illustrations: 2 graphs
Publication Year: 2011