Professor Stanley Tulin is the world's foremost historian of the global supercorporation Kramer Associates. Much of Robert Sobel's account of K.A. is based on his work, as well as a series of letters from and interviews with Tulin. In his critique of For Want of a Nail ... , Frank Dana refers to Tulin as "probably the most anti-Mexican historian in the world."
Tulin's published works on K.A. include He Straddled the Continents: The Life of Bernard Kramer (London, 1960); The Kramer Associates: Its Origins (London, 1965); The Kramer Associates: The Cortez Years (London, 1970); and The Kramer Associates: The Benedict Years (London, 1971). In addition, Sobel mentions a forthcoming work, due for publication in 1974, called The Kramer Associates: The Jackson Years.
In a footnote in Chapter 30, Sobel states that Tulin teaches at Kinkaid University in California. However, in his preface, written on 19 February 1972, Sobel states that Tulin is Professor of History at Cortez University in Taiwan. This suggests that Tulin emigrated from the U.S.M. to Taiwan in the course of Sobel's work on the book.
Much of Sobel's material on K.A.'s actions under Presidents John Jackson and Carl Salazar come from a series of letters from Tulin and interviews with him. A constant theme of Tulin's from these letters and interviews is his belief that K.A. ought to be regarded as a sovereign state rather than simply a business enterprise.
In a letter to Sobel dated 15 September 1970, Tulin stated that Salazar knew more about the Jackson restructuring than anyone else, including Jackson himself. Tulin also stated that Salazar had no special loyalty to the U.S.M., and did not consider San Francisco his home at the time of his accession. "Carl Salazar was a legal citizen of Taiwan, but in truth, he was a citizen of Kramer Associates. Salazar was the ruler of a nation of over five million, stretched across the globe. He might be called a 'Kramerite' for want of a better term. Most of the Kramer executives his age felt as he did. As I indicated in a previous letter, K.A. is a nation, and if you want to understand it, deal with it as such." Tulin revealed that only Salazar and five members of his board knew the details of the Taichung Project, while the rest were told, simply, that "our security rests in Taichung." Tulin also revealed his opinion that Salazar believed he was buying at least a decade of peace in revealing the existence of K.A.'s atomic bomb in 1962 and setting off an international atomic arms race.
In an interview on 11 November 1970, Tulin described the creation of an informal alliance between K.A. and the nations of Australia and Japan in 1940; stated that Salazar was able to take over the administration of K.A. within hours of Jackson's death on 15 September 1949; and revealed that Salazar wished to form an alliance with the Confederation of North America in 1958 but realized that Governor-General Richard Mason would not agree to one.
In a letter to Sobel dated 1 December 1970, Tulin wrote "Ever since the Cortez era Kramer Associates was a nation, and not merely a company. It had an army, a population, a budget, laws, etc. -- indeed, everything a nation possesses except territory. This last point has always confused scholars and statesmen, and worked to the benefit of the Associates. After all, you can declare war on a nation, but how do you combat a company, especially one that knows laws and how to use them as well as did the Kramer people? I still believe Kramer Associates to have been the world's most powerful nation since the 1880's, and consider victory in the war impossible without its aid and leadership." He also wrote, "When the war began Jackson listened to the Japanese and Australians as a lawyer listens to a client. By 1943, they functioned as equals. A year later, Jackson was recognized as leader of the alliance."
In an interview on 3 December 1970, Tulin described the structure of K.A. after the Jackson reorganization as resembling a tangled ball of twine which defied separation; quoted Jackson in 1931 as saying, "We are better off with Fuentes than with anyone else. The President is a dolt; his successor might have more intelligence, and cause us real trouble;" and revealed that by 5 March 1936 K.A. had acquired almost ten percent of the world's supply of gold coins and bullion.
In a letter to Sobel dated 29 December 1970, Tulin wrote "Nationalization was only a pinprick to Kramer Associates. Mercator could not realize it, but at the time, Salazar was more concerned with getting some 500 of his key men out of the country than with all the oil in Jefferson and California."
In an interview on 6 January 1971, Tulin revealed that K.A.'s profits fell by half in 1936, and fell by half again in 1937; and stated that Taiwanese Premier Chiang Ching-kuo and Salazar were fast friends and golfing companions, and that each man respected the provinces of the other, and never spoke of K.A.'s "special situation" in the nation.
In an interview on 10 January 1971, Tulin told Sobel, "From 1936 to 1939, Jackson spent more time searching for a way to peace than in running his companies."