Eberstadt and Forrestal

A National Security Partnership, 1909-1949

978-0-89096-469-9 Cloth
6 x 9 x 0 in
248 pp.
Pub Date: 07/01/1991


  • Cloth $39.95 s
On the heels of New Deal administrators, an army of business executives arrived in Washington in 1940 to prepare the nation for war. Among this contingent were two wealthy investment bankers and longtime friends: Ferdinand Eberstadt and James Forrestal. Together they played integral roles in the massive war mobilization program and, later, in the formation of institutions for postwar national security.

Jeffery M. Dorwart's research and analysis provide a fresh look at the friendships, connections, and mindsets that steered the growing federal government in the first half of the twentieth century. The result of these relationships was a system of corporatist management for wartime mobilization and for Cold War national security. Eberstadt, a key figure on numerous policy committees, and Forrestal, secretary of the navy during the 1940s and the first secretary of the new Department of Defense, shared a common background all the way to their college days at Princeton. Over the years, their friendship and their ties to a group of like-minded executives, whom Eberstadt termed the "Good Men," substantially shaped government policy.

Dorwart's research on Eberstadt's role is especially enlightening, for it reveals how Eberstadt, an outside consultant and not a government employee or elected official, affected policy direction through his design of the National Security Act of 1947.

"This is a significant contribution to American military and defense history. The author's use of the `Good Man' idea effectively . . . illustrates how non-military ideas and influences have been fundamental in shaping national security policy."--Jerry Cooper, University of Missouri-St. Louis (formerly of the Command and General Staff College)

Williams-Ford Texas A&M University Military History Series

Published by Texas A&M University Press