This project is a historical biography of Charles E. Bedaux (1886-1944), a renowned interwar efficiency consultant and friends with elite business, government and espionage circles in Europe and America. Many prestigious publications wrote about Bedaux, including Fortune, the Harvard Business Review, The Economist, The New Yorker and the New York Times. Even Vogue.
A wealthy, powerful, and mercurial man, he has been called many things: from an ‘arbiter between capital and labor’, a ‘capitalist monster’, ‘synonymous with gross industrial tyranny’ and a ‘Mephistophelean little Franco-American efficiency expert’, to a ‘fascist bloodsucker’, ‘the Devil’, and even the ‘most dangerous man in Western Europe’.
But who, really, was Charles E. Bedaux? During his life, he was famous for several activities: his hosting of the wedding of the former King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson in summer 1937, his death in 1944 while under suspicion of treason for collaborating with the Nazis, and his companies’ widely-used B unit.
He was also the cause of the ‘Second Abdication Crisis’ of early November 1937, which features in very few historical accounts of the period.
Political expediency, scarcity of verifiable historical sources, and even forgery have made it impossible to write Bedaux’s authoritative biography, let alone assess his substantial impact on the world. Until now.