When Eisenhower Took on Big Oil
In a presidential campaign pivoting on the assumption that corporate America rules America, we should remember that the perceptions and reality of corporate control have fluctuated wildly over the years. William Jennings Bryan’s supporters cried “Let the People Rule!” in 1908. Franklin Roosevelt bashed “economic royalists” in 1936. Surprisingly, the president remembered as a placid, golf-playing, aging, Republican corporate shill, Dwight Eisenhower, fought Big Oil in the 1950s—and won.
Eisenhower’s showdown with the oilmen was particularly surprising because some of his best friends were petro-millionaires. Like Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and other poor boys who became Commander-in-chief, Eisenhower enjoyed hobnobbing with rich people. Not only could these friends invite him to pop down to Georgia for 36 hours of quail hunting on 3,000 acre plantations, there was also something both humbling and exhilarating about hanging out with with men who had succeeded in the one realm he never mastered, business.
Still, Eisenhower’s friends boasted that they never asked their friend for favors. And Eisenhower, a proud American patriot, did what was best for the country.
Read the whole article on The Daily Beast
comments powered by Disqus
- Many Holocaust Survivors Are Struggling Amid the Pandemic. Here’s How Virtual Gatherings Are Helping
- 131-Year-Old Confederate Statue Removed From Alexandria Intersection
- All the History I Learned in my Youth Came from the American Girl Doll Books
- Is This the Worst Year in Modern American History?
- Role-Playing Games are Breathing New Life into the History Classroom
- Explaining the Insurrection Act of 1807 and Looking Back on Nixon’s Law & Order Campaign (Podcast)
- Trump Declared Himself the 'President of Law and Order.' Here's What People Get Wrong About the Origins of That Idea
- The Rebellion in Defense of Black Lives is Rooted in U.S. History. So, too, is Trump’s Authoritarian Rule (Podcast)
- Beverly Hills, Buckhead, SoHo: The New Sites of Urban Unrest
- How Today’s Protests Compare to 1968, Explained by a Historian