Steven Fenberg, author of Unprecedented Power (TAMU 2011), recently appeared on KUHT-TV's Science and Technology night. He talked about Jesse Holman Jones and the Reconstruction Finance Corporation’s development of synthetic rubber, a perfect topic for Pearl Harbor Day. View the full interview below!
In Unprecedented Power, Fenberg tells the story of Jesse Holman Jones, the Houston businessman who went to Washington as an appointed official and provided the pragmatic leadership that salvaged capitalism during the Great Depression and militarized industry in time to fight and win World War II.
Jones—an entrepreneur with an eighth- grade education who built Houston’s tallest buildings of the time—was considered to be the most powerful person in the nation, next to President Roosevelt. As chairman of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, Jones saved farms, homes, banks and businesses; built infrastructure; set the price of gold with FDR each morning in the president’s bedroom; and in the process made a substantial profit for the government. Then Jones turned the RFC’s focus from domestic economics to global defense.
Read more about Unprecedented Power and order your own copy here.