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The Reckoning by David Halberstam

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33. BIG CARS AGAIN

IN THE TWO-YEAR STRUGGLE over downsizing, Sperlich started as a proponent and became an angry, impassioned prophet. He was so convinced of the rightness of his arguments and so contemptuous of his opponents that month by month his tolerance diminished and his disdain became more visible. He was surrounded by men whom he had crossed in Europe, when his protector, Iacocca, had been more powerful. His own power was on the wane because Iacocca’s power was on the wane. That did not matter to Sperlich. What did matter was that Iacocca had told him to make it happen. “I was,” he recalled, “a good German son of good German parents, and I had been brought up to obey and never disagree with my superior, and Lee was my superior.” That ...

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