From his seat in the Senate Labor Committee hearing room, pudgy Albert C. (for Cummins) Beeson arose, puffed out his chest and, in carefully rehearsed tones, announced: "We are quibbling while Rome burns." He was wrong; the smoke came from some of Beeson's burning bridges.

As a Republican appointee to the National Labor Relations Board, Beeson came to Washington with a long and respected record as a company representative in labor-management relations. But with the very first question asked him in committee hearings, Beeson showed that his wisdom was no burden on...

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