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The Reckoning by David Halberstam

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13. THE QUIET MAN

FINANCE WAS SOON A power of its own. Its principal driving force was Bob McNamara, and its basic philosophy was: Whatever the product men and the manufacturing men want, deny it. Make them sweat and then make them present it again, and once again delay it as long as possible. If in the end it has to be granted, cut it in half. Always make them fight the balance sheet, and always put the burden of truth on them. That way they will always be on the defensive and will think twice about asking for anything.

By the early fifties there was growing tension between McNamara and Lewis Crusoe. Crusoe had become general manager of the Ford division, one of the two or three most important jobs in the company, in 1949. He was a man who could ...

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