Julian Steward chaired Columbia University's anthropology program during the first years of the Cold War, a time that several of its faculty members were under government investigation for their earlier leftist political activities during the Depression. In rejecting diffusion and migration as factors in cultural similarity, he argued for an evolutionary view of culture that was then unpopular among American anthropologists. Steward's and White's differing perspectives on evolution triggered intense debate among them, leading to that rarest of academic interventions, a third party effort at reconciliation. The decades after World War II were marked by a proliferation of "labor saving" technologies at work and in the home that promised a future of abundant leisure and material wealth. Where Allen Johnson and Earle differ from White and the nineteenth-century evolutionists is in their skepticism toward the notion of "progress," which arose from their reading of the influential 1965 volume, The Conditions of Agricultural Growth, by Danish agricultural economist Ester Boserup.