Title: Oral History Interview with Caesar Cone, January 7, 1983. Interview C-0003.
Interviewer: Watson, Harry
Interviewee: Cone, Caesar
Subjects: Textile industry--North Carolina--Management
Abstract: After getting an education at Harvard Business School and experience in business around the country, Caesar Cone found success in the textile industry in North Carolina in the first half of the twentieth century. In this interview he looks back on his career, describing the textile industry in North Carolina and attacking the increasing entanglement of government and business. Cone is a passionate believer in minimizing government involvement in the marketplace. "Hell, you can't go to the bathroom, hardly, today without running into . . . breaking the law, " he complains. The burden of regulation doesn't just limit individual freedoms, he thinks, but in conjunction with the demands of unions, has hurt the textile industry in the United States and snuffed out employers' impulses to treat their employees well. Cone seems in many ways a typical small-government conservative businessman, but he declares himself a social liberal. That Cone, a Jew, faced a good deal of discrimination throughout his early career may have informed that part of his belief system. This is a spirited interview that will interest, among others, scholars of entrepreneurship and the textile industry in the South.