Reaching New Heights Through Standardization

To American production, without which this war would have been lost.

—Joseph Stalin, toasting the

United States at the Teheran Summit in 1943

MOVING FROM the high consumption and free spending of the 1920s into the dark days of the Depression was a shock for the nation. From the vantage point of the 1930s, the leap into full employment and mass mobilization of the wartime 1940s would have seemed almost impossible—but that is exactly what happened. Again, the landscape of business changed on a monumental scale. The business survival skills of the 1930s quickly gave way to a new form of leadership that tested the limit of America’s ingenuity, productivity, and compassion.

Beyond its ...

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