Richard H.K. Vietor
In the political economy of energy, World War II was a significant watershed: it accelerated the transition from dependence on coal to petroleum and natural gas. At the same time, mobilization provided an unprecedented experience in the management of energy markets by a forced partnership of business and government. In this 1985 book, Vietor covers American policy from 1945 to 1980. For readers convinced that big business contrived the energy crisis of the 1970s, this story will be disappointing, but enlightening. For those committed to theories of regulatory capture or public interest reform it should be frustrating. More than a history of government policy making, this book provides us with an innovative and insightful approach to the study of business-government relations in modern America. For managers, bureaucrats, and anyone interested in seeing a more effective national industrial policy, this history should put the relationship of business and government in a critical new perspective.