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Bentley, Arthur Fisher (16 October 1870–21 May 1957), sociologist, political scientist, and philosopher, was born in Freeport, Illinois, the son of Angeline Alice Fisher and Charles Frederick Bentley, a banker. The family moved to Omaha and then to Grand Island, Nebraska. Bentley briefly attended both York College, Nebraska, and the University of Denver, Colorado, before returning to Grand Island to work in his father’s bank. In 1890 Bentley entered Johns Hopkins University to study economics and sociology. He returned again to Grand Island and, with his father, collected economic and agricultural data on the community of Harrison, Nebraska. Bentley received an A.B. in 1892. His undergraduate thesis, “The Condition of the Western Farmer as Illustrated by the Economic History of a Nebraska Township,” was published the next year in the ...

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Follett, Mary Parker (03 September 1868–18 December 1933), theorist of social organization and civic leader, was born in Quincy, Massachusetts, the daughter of Charles Allen Follett and Elizabeth Curtis Baxter. Follett’s father attempted a variety of jobs and her mother took in boarders before the family finally moved in with Follett’s wealthy maternal grandfather. In 1888 Follett enrolled at the Harvard Annex, the precursor of Radcliffe College, and graduated summa cum laude in 1898. During this ten-year period she also spent a year at Newnham College, Cambridge University, and worked for a few years as a schoolteacher at Mrs. Shaw’s School in Boston. Follett’s perceptiveness as an observer of social and political phenomena was evident even before her college graduation when Longmans, Green published her book ...

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Kahn, Herman (15 February 1922–07 July 1983), civilian military strategist and futurologist, was born in Bayonne, New Jersey, the son of Abraham Kahn, a tailor, and Yetta Koslowsky. His Polish Jewish parents divorced when he was ten years old, and Kahn and his two brothers moved to Los Angeles with their mother. The family remained poor, and Kahn worked throughout his school and college years. His youthful experience in his aunt’s grocery had a lasting impact, shaping his ideas about economic decision making. In 1940 he enrolled at the University of Southern California and then transferred to the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) with a major in physics. He enlisted in the army in May 1943....