First Advisor

Carl Abbott

Date of Publication

Fall 12-8-2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Urban Studies


Urban Studies and Planning




Harry W. Morrison (Harry Winford) 1885-1971, Morrison Knudsen Corporation, Public contracts -- United States -- History -- 20th century, Construction contracts -- United States -- History -- 20th century



Physical Description

1 online resource (vi, 225 pages)


Beginning with reclamation projects in the western U.S., the heavy construction industry helped the federal government grow in size and sophistication in the twentieth century. The Morrison-­Knudsen Corporation throughout the twentieth century represented one of the federal government's favored contractors. Following western reclamation projects, the U.S. federal government then used contractors to help move the U.S. economy out of the Depression, prepare for World War II, wage the Cold War at home and abroad, and win the space race. Thus, at key stages in United States history we observe the necessity of the U.S. federal government partnering with the heavy construction industry to achieve its policy objectives at home and abroad. Morrison-Knudsen was once the largest heavy contractor in the United States, participating in the construction of Hoover Dam, Pacific Naval Air Bases, Hanford Engineering Works, the U.S. Intercontinental Ballistic Missile System, and the Vehicle Assembly Building at the Kennedy Space Center.


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