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The First Turning

The first turning was a period of conformity. America had just won World War II, and victorious soldiers of the World War II (or GI) generation came home. Buttressed by the GI Bill, which the GIs used to complete college in record time, the former soldiers fanned out to take over companies, and create the "organization man." Among the most spectacular successes were the "Whiz kids," ten former Army officers that offered themselves as a "package" to several corporations (Ford Motor Co. accepted), and then took over Ford, contributing several company Presidents before Lee Iacocca, a non-member, broke through.

A conforming "Silent" generation followed them, while conformist wives produced a bumper crop of "Baby Boom" children. The two generations ahead of the GIs had the decency to retire and get out of the way, although many GIs' Lost "boss," General Dwight David Eisenhower, was elected President by former soldiers and their (similarly voting) wives; there was no political "gender gap" in those days. Upon his retirement, President Eisenhower (like the similarly "reactive" George Washignton before him), issued a cautionary warning about the potential dangers of the "Military-Industrial complex.