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In the special "Five Years That Shook the World" report on the business impact of World War II's end, starting on Page 24, look for profiles in courage for today's business person. It took guts to bet the American marketplace would take off at war's end, to overcome the fear on Main Street and in the executive suite that pre-war Depression times might return.

From U.S. President Harry Truman, who gambled on an early end to wartime price controls, to Sears, Roebuck & Co. President Robert E. Wood, who restocked Sears' warehouses on the hunch consumers would flock to buy goods, countless wagers were made. Those who bet on a growing economy won.

True, it's a much different world that marketing people confront today. In 1945, this country and U.S. business sat astride the world as a global economic power. Today, the U.S. must battle to stay competitive in an interlinked global marketplace and a post-cold war era that we are still adjusting to.

Fifty years ago, marketing people led the way in helping business prosper in the changing post-World War II economy. That hasn't changed; they must lead again-from finding the universal appeal needed for global marketing to probing the new frontier of targeted one-to-one selling. Those who adjust to change-and bet on growth-will win out again.

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