"It was hard to think of a more unlikely figure than Alfred Sloan to lead a revolution of consumer affluence. He had no love of cars. His employees could not conceive of him showing up at the company's test track to drive the latest hot model....It was in his office that he was happiest, for there he could study his figures and organizational charts, seeking the truth that only they could reveal....He was the prototype of all the managerial men to come later, and his rise at GM symbolized the rise of the new managerial class in America, leading some to bemoan the effect upon American entrepreneurship. Fearing that talented mavericks and tinkerers were being replaced by bookkeepers and bankers, Russell Leffingwell, a partner in J.P. Morgan, warned the Senate Finance Committee in 1935 that 'the growth of corporate enterprise in America has been drying up independence and initiative. We are becoming a nation of hired men, hired by great aggregates of capital."

-- From The Fifties, by David Halberstam (Villard Books, 1993)

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