LESSONS FOR DENVER
FDR's 1932 Victory Over
London's Wall Street Fascists
by Jeffrey Steinberg
On July 1, 1932, New York Gov. Franklin Delano Roosevelt won the Democratic Party Presidential nomination by a landslide vote of 945-190, over his nearest rival and avowed political enemy, the former New York governor and J.P. Morgan tool, Alfred E. Smith. On Nov. 8, 1932, Roosevelt won a second landslide victory, this time over incumbent Republican President Herbert Hoover. Roosevelt won 57% of the popular vote, and swept the Electoral College by 472-59. It was the greatest mandate for change in memory, and FDR immediately set out to return the U.S.A. to the tradition of the American System of political-economy, and, in so doing, brought the country out of the depths of the Great Depression, and prepared the nation for the great battles to come, against Nazism and Fascism—and an expected post-war battle to end the scourge of Anglo-Dutch colonialism.
Most Americans, with even a slight degree of historical literacy, know these basic facts about the election of 1932. Few, however, know how close the nation came to a disaster at the Democratic nominating convention in Chicago; how close FDR came to being deprived of the Presidential nomination, despite a groundswell of popular support; and how ruthlessly his Wall Street and City of London enemies sought to overturn the outcome of the 1932 election, through attempted assassination and coup d'état.
It is that story, rarely told, that offers a vital lesson today to the Democratic Party, and to the American people, as the nation faces another monumental Presidential election—an election, like 1932, that once again may determine whether the United States survives for another generation, as the sovereign republic established by the Founding Fathers.
A Challenge to Wall Street
From the time that Franklin Roosevelt was reelected governor of New York in November 1930, by a sweeping majority, he emerged as the clear frontrunner for the Democratic Party Presidential nomination in 1932. He had already staked out a new direction for the nation, through his published writings and speeches, and some of the emergency measures he had taken as governor, to deal with the crushing impact of the 1929 Wall Street stock market crash, and the ensuing collapse of the U.S. economy.
In 1931, he pushed legislation through the Republican-majority New York State Legislature, which created the Temporary Emergency Relief Administration (TERA), with Harry Hopkins as the executive director. The $20 million program created jobs for the construction of hospitals, schools, and other vital infrastructure in the state, and provided other relief for the growing legions of unemployed. But Roosevelt made it clear that his efforts in New York were being countered, at every turn, by the Hoover Administration in Washington, that was more committed to bailing out the bankrupt financial institutions, than it was to providing for the welfare of an increasingly desperate American people.
In July 1928, FDR had penned an article for Foreign Affairs, the journal of the Council on Foreign Relations, which presented a "Democratic View" of "Our Foreign Policy," in which he boldly spelled out a radical overhaul of American foreign policy, in the tradition of John Quincy Adams and the Treaty of Westphalia. Before being striken with polio in 1921, FDR had been Assistant Secretary of the Navy under President Woodrow Wilson, and had been the unsuccessful Democratic Party Vice Presidential candidate in 1920.
FDR wrote in Foreign Affairs, "The time has come when we must accept not only certain facts but many new principles of a higher law, a newer and better standard in international relations. We are exceedingly jealous of our own sovereignty, and it is only right that we should respect a similar feeling among other nations. The peoples of the other Republics of this Western world are just as patriotic, just as proud of their sovereignty. Many of these nations are large, wealthy and highly civilized. The peace, the security, the integrity, the independence of every one of the American Republics is of interest to all the others, not to the United States alone.... Single-handed intervention by us in the internal affairs of other nations must end; with the cooperation of others we shall have more order in this hemisphere and less dislike.... The time is ripe to start another chapter. On that new page there is much that should be written in the spirit of our forebears. If the leadership is right—or, more truly, if the spirit behind it is great—the United States can regain the world's trust and friendship and become again of service. We can point the way once more to the reducing of armaments; we can cooperate officially and whole-heartedly with every agency that studies and works to relieve the common ills of mankind; and we can for all time renounce the practice of arbitrary intervention in the home affairs of our neighbors."
The policies and ideas presented by FDR were not only anathema to his Republican rivals. They were at fundamental odds with the London-allied Wall Street interests that held a vise-grip control over the Democratic Party, from the top down.
Following his 1928 defeat by Hoover, the Democratic Party Presidential candidate, Alfred Smith, FDR's earlier sponsor, turned bitterly against Roosevelt. Smith was furious that FDR had won the 1928 New York gubernatorial election, while he had been overwhelmingly defeated in New York State by Hoover. FDR had also refused to give Smith hands-on control over his top Albany appointments.
Even more to the point, Smith had already been coopted by the powerful J.P. Morgan banking interests, which were among the City of London's flagship assets inside Wall Street. Smith was installed as a top executive of the Morgan-financed Empire State Corp., which built the Empire State Building, and became a witting tool of the Morgan interests, who had other, equally powerful hooks into the Democratic Party.
Following the disastrous 1928 Hoover victory over Smith, the Democratic Party had fallen deep into debt. The party owed an estimated $1,600,000—a considerable sum of money in those days. To bail out the party, Morgan asset John Jakob Raskob stepped in to loan the party over $370,000. In return, Raskob, who had managed Smith's failed Presidential campaign, was named chairman of the Democratic Party. He, in turn, appointed another Morgan man, former Democratic Congressman Jouett Shouse, as the party's executive director. Just months before taking over the party, Raskob had lamented that he was not able to vote for his favorite politician, Calvin Coolidge, for President in 1928. Raskob had been a life-long Republican up until that point.
Born in 1879, Raskob went to work for Pierre du Pont in 1900, and rose rapidly through the ranks of the Morgan-financed chemical and arms combine. By 1914, Raskob was treasurer of the DuPont Corporation. Four years later, after DuPont took control of 43% of the stock in General Motors, Raskob was named vice president for finance of both GM and DuPont. By the early 1920s, Morgan had bought a $35 million stake in GM, making it a joint DuPont-Morgan venture. Raskob remained vice president of GM until 1928, when he took over Al Smith's Presidential campaign, steering the New York Governor hard-right, into the Morgan camp. Raskob remained at DuPont for another decade, amassing a very large personal fortune. Throughout the 1920s, Raskob was on Morgan's list of "preferred customers," who were beneficiaries of insider trading, and privileged stock purchases.
Fascism for All
During the 1920s, Morgan and allied London and Wall Street banks had financed Italy's Fascist leader Benito Mussolini. In 1925, for example, Morgan partner Thomas Lamont arranged a $100 million loan to the Mussolini regime, at a point that the regime was in deep political trouble.
At the same time that Morgan was bailing out Mussolini, the DuPont and Morgan interests were launching a proto-fascist movement in the United States—ostensibly in opposition to Prohibition, which had been enacted with the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ratified in January 1919. The Association Against the Prohibition Amendment (AAPA) was headed by Capt. William H. Stayton, but was run by a tightly knit group of Wall Streeters, including Pierre du Pont, Irénée du Pont, Lammot du Pont, John Raskob, and Charles Sabin. Sabin was the chairman of the Morgan-owned New York Guaranty Company. According to a Senate investigation into the AAPA, by 1928, of the 28 directors of GM, 15 were listed as members of the group, which promoted the repeal of Prohibition, and the replacement of corporate taxes with a tax on beer and liquor, based on the British model.
The 1932 Democratic Convention
On Jan. 22, 1932, Roosevelt announced his candidacy for the Democratic Party Presidential nomination. The convention was scheduled for late June in Chicago. From the very outset, FDR was by far the favorite to win the nomination and the Presidency. However, the top-down Morgan interests that literally owned the Democratic Party, through Raskob and Shouse, had other plans. They launched a "Stop Roosevelt" operation, employing a number of Morgan assets, and drawing upon party factions, which had their own differences with FDR.
Morgan man Al Smith announced his candidacy on Feb. 6, immediately creating a serious split in the New York Democratic Party. A number of "favorite son" candidates also entered the race, most with the understanding that they would ultimately throw their support—at a price—behind either FDR or some rival, in the event that the convention was deadlocked. The Raskob-Shouse-Morgan strategy was to deny Roosevelt the nomination on the first series of ballots, and then draw support away from the New York governor, and behind their chosen "compromise" candidate, Newton D. Baker, Woodrow Wilson's Secretary of War (1916-1921), and later a lawyer for the Morgan interests in Cleveland, Ohio.
Although FDR competed in the Democratic primary elections, winning over half the delegates, he suffered several setbacks, orchestrated by the Morgan crowd and others. The biggest upset came in California, where Texan John Nance Garner, the Speaker of the House, won 41% of the vote, to Roosevelt's 32% and Al Smith's 26%. Garner had campaigned against Roosevelt and Smith as "Tammany Hall" politicians, and had the backing of William Gibbs McAdoo, the California lawyer, who had been Wilson's Secretary of the Treasury (1913-1918), and a two-time contender for the Democratic Presidential nomination, in 1920 and 1924. McAdoo was the son-in-law of President Wilson, and, appropriately, had the strong backing of the Ku Klux Klan in his 1924 bid for the nomination (Wilson had shamelessly boosted the revival of the KKK from the White House, through his promotion of the Hollywood film, Birth of a Nation, which lionized the racist organization). In 1924, McAdoo had gotten into a pitched battle with Smith over the nomination, deadlocking the convention for days, and leading, ultimately, to the selection of a "compromise" candidate, John W. Davis—yet, another lawyer for the Morgan interests.
McAdoo also had a very close relationship with the country's leading publisher, William Randolph Hearst, who, at one time, had also sought the Democratic Presidential nomination.
Going into the Chicago convention, Roosevelt had well-over half of the 1,154 delegate votes needed to clinch the nomination. However, the rules of the party required a two-thirds majority, which meant that 770 votes were needed to win. As long as the Morgan forces could block any large crossovers, FDR could be defeated, despite the fact that he had won 11 of the 13 primaries in which he competed, and had won 44.5% of the total votes cast. Memories of the disastrous 1924 nominating convention, which took 103 ballots to break the deadlock between Smith and McAdoo, added to the political climate, favoring a Morgan-led anti-FDR "compromise" nominee.
Adding to the political minefield facing FDR, was the fact that Chicago's Democratic mayor, Anton Cermak, was allied with the "Stop Roosevelt" forces, and was a leading proponent of the repeal of the 18th Amendment (he coveted control over liquor licensing and taxation, which would greatly enhance his financial and political power), and he would control who would be allowed into the galleries at the convention center, an important psychological intimidation factor. Cermak had gone East on the eve of the convention, to meet with Raskob and Shouse, ostensibly to push an anti-Prohibition plank for the party platform.
The Backdrop to the Convention
Cermak also hoped that the revenues generated by hosting both the Democratic and Republican nominating conventions would bail Chicago out of a desperate financial crisis. 750,000 Chicagoans had lost their jobs since the 1929 Crash; over 100,000 families were on some kind of public welfare; half of the banks in Chicago had gone under; city workers, including police and teachers, were being paid in IOUs; and almost every luxury hotel in the city's famous downtown Loop was in bankruptcy receivership. On the eve of the convention, 759 teachers had lost their homes, because they had not been paid in five months, according to the authoritative account of the 1932 convention, Happy Days Are Here Again, by Steve Neal (HarperCollins, New York, 2004). And garbage collectors had also gone on strike, after missing months of pay, resulting in a pile-up of garbage everywhere.
Arriving delegates were greeted by "Hoovervilles" all over the city. Writing for The New Republic, John Dos Passos described the scene on Michigan Avenue: "Down here the air, drenched with the exhaust from the grinding motors of trucks, is full of dust and the roar of the heavy traffic that hauls the city's freight. They lie in rows along the edges above the roadway, huddled in grimed newspapers, men who have nothing left but their stiff, hungry, grimy bodies, men who have lost the power to want."
Weeks before the convention opened, Samuel Insull, the leading industrialist in Chicago, had lost his entire $170 million personal fortune, when debts were called in on his utility companies, which suffered huge losses through the collapse of industry and the fall-off in electricity consumption. The Morgan interests were widely accused of being behind the pulling of the plug on Insull. In June 1932, thirty-nine small and medium-size Chicago banks all went bankrupt, as part of the Insull collapse.
Days before the convention opened, the major Chicago banks, including First National Bank of Chicago and First Union Trust, were hit with a run on deposits, estimated at over $50 million. Next, Charles G. Dawes, former head of Hoover's Reconstruction Finance Corporation, announced he was about to shut down his Central Republic Bank and Trust Company, which had lost half of its $240 million in assets. Had Dawes' bank shut down, the chain reaction would have wiped out all of the major Chicago banks. As the convention was opening, the RFC stepped in with a $100 million emergency bailout loan, thus averting a full-blown financial meltdown.
Morgan Versus FDR
Even before the battle over the nomination commenced, a number of other issues had to be addressed, that would vitally effect the outcome of the convention. The first involved the seating of the Louisiana delegation. Three contending delegations all showed up in Chicago, reflecting the larger splits in the party between the pro- and anti-FDR factions. At the time of the convention, Gov. Huey P. Long was backing Roosevelt, and his delegation was being challenged by a former Louisiana governor, Jared Sanders. After a rousing debate between Long and Sanders, punctuated by loud anti-Long rants by Cermak's bleachers rabble, the Long delegation was seated, by a convention vote of 638-514.
Next, the crucial vote on who would be the convention chairman took place. Roosevelt had chosen Montana's Thomas J. Walsh, a 73-year-old, 20-year Senate veteran, as his candidate. Walsh had presided over the tumultuous 1924 convention, before Morgan man Davis had won the nomination, but was widely respected for the way he handled that chaotic affair. The candidate of party chairman Raskob was his fellow Morgan man, Shouse, the party's executive director.
By another close vote, 626-528, Walsh won the pivotal chairmanship. The two narrow victories for the FDR forces would prove decisive. FDR's pointman in Chicago (Roosevelt, in the tradition of nominating conventions, stayed back in Hyde Park, New York, but had a special speaker-phone hookup to his Chicago convention stadium headquarters), James Farley, would write in his diaries: "To me the most vital moment of the convention was the seating of Huey Long's delegation."
Efforts by the Roosevelt team to change the party rules, to end the two-thirds majority requirement, flopped miserably, and almost cost FDR the support of some of his Southern backers, who saw the rule as key to their party influence. The Morgan faction, allied with many of the urban political machines, from Cermak to Tammany Hall, tried to push through an anti-Prohibition resolution, with the aim of drawing Roosevelt into a divisive side issue, that could split off some of his Southern backers, who were among the leading proponents of the ban on alcohol. Ultimately, the convention voted 934-213 in favor of repeal of the 18th Amendment. Roosevelt had successfully stayed on the sidelines, averting the Morgan trap.
On June 30, Walsh convened the nominating session. By the time the nominating speeches and seconding speeches had been completed, it was 4:28 AM, on the morning of July 1. All told, 11 names had been placed in nomination. Among the key candidates hoping to win the nomination in the wake of another disastrous 1924-type stalemate, in the event the Morgan "Stop Roosevelt" operation succeeded, were: Newton D. Baker, Speaker of the House John Nance Garner, Maryland Gov. Albert Ritchie, and Al Smith.
At the end of the first round of balloting, FDR had 666 votes, followed by Smith, with 201, Garner with 90, Ohio governor and favorite son George White, with 52; and a lineup of other favorite sons with a total of 143 votes among them. On the second ballot, Roosevelt gained 11 votes, but the failure of any major holdout delegations to break was a bad sign. Furthermore, Cermak was working non-stop to break away Roosevelt delegates, as part of the Morgan scheme to deadlock the convention for a half-dozen ballots, thus forcing Roosevelt to throw in the towel. While his efforts failed, the third ballot also was inconclusive. At 9:15 a.m., the convention adjourned, to resume again that evening.
From the opening gavel of the convention, FDR was targeted for massive dirty tricks, including a vicious rumor campaign that he was "too sick" to be President, another that he was in bed with the KKK. One of the leaders of the "Stop Roosevelt" operation was Walter Lippman, who was circulating a petition among the convention delegates to draft Newton Baker as the compromise candidate. Lippman lied, "All through these various delegations there is an astonishingly strong though quiet conviction that the party can unite on a man who is stronger than any of the leading contenders. That man is Newton Baker of Ohio. My impression is that he is the first real choice of more responsible Democrats than any other man, and that he is an acceptable second choice to almost every one." Lippman's petition was accompanied by a massive telegram campaign, touting Baker as the savior of the party, against FDR's divisiveness.
FDR responded with his own telegram to all the delegates, in which he promised, "I am in this fight to stay. This is a battle for principle. A clear majority of the convention understands that it is being waged to keep our party as a whole from dictation by a small group representing the interests in the nation which have no place in our party." FDR concluded, "My friends will not be misled by organized propaganda by telegrams now being sent to delegates. Stick to your guns. It is clear that the nation must not and shall not be overridden. Now is the time to make clear that we intend to stand fast and win."
Roosevelt's use of the term "the interests" was a direct shot at the Morgan Wall Street and London crowd that was behind the desperate drive to deny him the nomination.
There are varying accounts of what happened next. What is clear is that during the hours of July 1, between the adjourning of the convention, and its resumption in the evening, a deal was reached between the FDR forces and Garner. Clearly, McAdoo had a role in the effort, and Neal's account identified Joseph Kennedy as a mediator with Hearst. What is clear is that, faced with a prospect of either Newton Baker or Al Smith winning the nomination, should FDR fail to win the showdown fourth balloting, the Texas and California delegations, both pledged to Garner, went over to FDR, with the understanding that Garner would be Roosevelt's choice as Vice Presidential running-mate. But even in the Texas caucus, the vote to support FDR was by the narrowest 54-51 majority. And in the California caucus, McAdoo was so uncertain of the outcome, that he never took a vote, choosing instead to inform his delegation that Garner had released the votes, but taking the unilateral decision to pay back his rival Al Smith, by personally announcing both the California and Texas endorsements for FDR.
But there was more here than a backroom deal. Roosevelt had clearly touched a deep chord among progressive Democrats, who understood the implications of another Morgan hand-picked candidate leading the Democratic slate.
By the time the convention reconvened, on the evening of July 1, the Morgan-Raskob-Smith gang had been defeated, albeit by a near-miracle of political perseverence. Once Texas and California broke, Cermak delivered the Midwest states to FDR, and triggered a stampede of all the favorite son delegations.
Shouse, the Morgan man, bitterly wrote to Newton Baker after the vote: "If McAdoo had not broken the pledges he made, Roosevelt would not have been nominated. On the fourth ballot there would have been serious defections from his ranks with the result that some other nominee would have been certain. That nominee would have been either you or Ritchie."
Understanding the divisive role of the Morgan gang and the urgent need to heal the wounds of the convention fight, FDR took the unprecedented step of flying out to Chicago, to directly address the convention. The whole country followed in rapt attention, as FDR flew, through inclement weather, from Albany to Chicago. He delivered a powerful speech, proclaiming his "New Deal" for America.
Assassination and Coup d'Etat
In the wake of FDR's landslide victory over Herbert Hoover in the November 1932 general elections, the Morgan and City of London financier faction quickly regrouped. If they could not defeat FDR by the manipulation of the ballot, they would use other means.
On Feb. 15, 1933, less than a month before Roosevelt's March 4 inauguration as President, a "lone assassin" attempted to kill him, during a rally at Bay Front Park in Miami, Florida. An Italian immigrant unemployed laborer, Giuseppe Zangara, fired at the podium, as Roosevelt, ironically, was shaking hands with Mayor Cermak. Cermak took the shot, and died several weeks later. While investigations into the shooting never developed evidence of a broader plot, interrogations of Zangara confirmed that he intended to kill the President-elect, thus dispelling later claims that he had been sent by Chicago mobster Frank Nitti, to kill Cermak, who had cracked down on his Capone mob rivals.
The Morgan hand was all over another plot to oust Roosevelt, in the early months of his Presidency. As reported to the McCormack-Dickstein Committee of the House of Representatives, by Maj. Gen. Smedley Darlington Butler (USMC-ret.), a group of leading Morgan and DuPont operatives, including the recently deposed Democratic Party chairman John J. Raskob, and his executive director, Jouett Shouse, conspired to organize a miltary coup d'état against FDR, claiming that Roosevelt was a "Jew Communist," who would destroy the United States through New Deal hyperinflation.
Members of the conspiracy first contacted Butler in July 1933, in an effort to recruit him to the plot; they asked him to recruit an army of 500,000 World War I veterans, to march on Washington and force Roosevelt's resignation, and the imposition of a regime, modeled on Mussolini and Hitler.
In September 1934, the plotters established the American Liberty League, with Al Smith, Raskob, the Morgan lawyer John W. Davis, joining the ranks of the Grayson Mallet-Prevost Murphy, Pew, Pitcairn, Rockefeller, and Lamont interests. To set the stage for the outright pro-Fascist bankers putsch, Henry Luce's Fortune magazine devoted its entire July 1934 issue to praise of Mussolini. Anglophile editor Laird Goldsborough penned a signed editorial, which proclaimed, "Fascism is achieving in a few years or decades such a conquest of the spirit of man as Christianity achieved only in ten centuries...."
The true nature of the plot was exposed by General Butler, who had been repeatedly approached by one of the Morgan operatives, Gerald MacGuire, who had spent seven months in Europe, at the start of 1934, making contacts with leading Synarchists in Italy, France, and Germany. Hesitant to signal Butler that the Morgan gang was plotting a Hitler-Mussolini-style takeover of America, MacGuire told Butler that the new movement, to save America from FDR, was modeled on the French secret military organization, Croix de Feu (Fiery Cross), which, he lied, was like America's Veterans of Foreign Wars or American Legion. In fact, the Croix de Feu was a hard-core pro-Fascist, pro-Nazi apparatus that had failed in coup plots in France, and ultimately became part of the collaborationist Vichy regime.
Butler smelled the rat and took his story to the news media and the Congress, resulting in a tremendous scandal—in part due to the fact that Congress was afraid to implicate the top Morgan bankers in such an obviously treasonous scheme. Working with Philadelphia Record journalist Paul Comley French, Butler substantiated every detail of the scheme. In one meeting with French, at the offices of Grayson M.P. Murphy and Company, MacGuire openly declared, "We need a fascist government to save the nation from the Communists." He explicitly endorsed Hitler's forced labor camps as the "solution" to unemployment in America.
When the American Liberty League formally announced their founding, the press was called in to the office of none other than Jouett Shouse, at the National Press Building in Washington. Shouse, who had headed Morgan's Association Against the Prohibition Amendment, had merely changed the masthead on the old AAPA. At its heart, it was a London-allied bankers cabal, committed to imposing corporatist fascism—over the political corpse of FDR.
A closer approximation of what drove London bankers and their Wall Street cronies wild was revealed by FDR and Henry Morgenthau biographer John Morton Blum. According to Blum, in the autumn of 1933, Roosevelt and his Treasury Secretary, Henry Morgenthau, launched a drive to push up the price of gold and strengthen the value of the U.S. dollar. As Blum reported in Roosevelt and Morgenthau (Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, 1970), "To take charge of the foreign exchange operation Roosevelt called upon the Governor of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, George Harrison, an urbane, experienced, conservative financier, who was conscious and jealous of the traditional powers of his office. Harrison insisted on having full authority over the technical aspects of his job, to which Roosevelt agreed, but the President hesitated to accept the banker's suggestion that the United States talk with the British and the French before beginning to trade in gold abroad. 'Every time we have taken the British into our confidence,' he remarked, 'they have given us a trimming.'
"After further thought persuaded him to let Harrison go ahead, the President thoroughly enjoyed the shocking surprise of the Europeans. The French, Harrison reported, had nearly jumped out of their skins. Governor Montagu Norman of the Bank of England, a die-hard Tory whom Roosevelt called 'old pink whiskers,' heard Harrison's news about American plans with incredulity. 'This is the most horrible thing that has happened,' Norman wailed into the transatlantic telephone. 'The whole world will be put into bankruptcy.' Harrison's instinct was to reassure Norman, but Roosevelt and Morgenthau, picturing foreign bankers with every one of their hairs standing on end in horror, caught each other's eye and began to roar with laughter. Within 24 hours, Roosevelt told Morgenthau, he expected to 'see the whites of the eyes of the enemies,' and he expected Harrison to shoot."
It was Roosevelt's open contempt for the British system of usury and colonialism that drove London's Wall Street allies, led by Morgan, to plot outright treason, when they failed to defeat FDR in Chicago at the convention.
Today, the financial disintegration has gone far beyond the collapse that FDR faced, and today, once again, London's fascist agents, like Felix Rohatyn and George Shultz, stand in horror at the remotest prospect of the Democratic Party returning to the spirit and substance of FDR. They know that the voice of FDR in today's Democratic Party is that of Lyndon LaRouche, and, while they know that LaRouche is not running for President, they fear his impact on the next Presidency, as much as they feared FDR's election in November 1932.
John Ascher, Richard Freeman, and Lonnie Wolfe contributed research to this article.