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Business -- United States -- History

The following sources are recommended by a professor whose research specialty is business history.


Six Superlative Sources

· Boorstin, Daniel J. "Consumption Communities." IN The Americans: The Democratic Experience, Part Two, pp. 89-164. Vintage, 1974.

· Bruchey, Stuart Weems. Enterprise: The Dynamic Economy of a Free People. Harvard University Press, 1990.

· Chandler, Alfred Dupont, and Thomas K. McCraw. The Essential Alfred Chandler: Essays toward a Historical Theory of Big Business. Harvard Business School Press, 1988, 1991.

· Cochran, Thomas Childs. Business in American Life: A History. McGraw-Hill, 1976.

· McCraw, Thomas K. Prophets of Regulation: Charles Francis Adams, Louis D. Brandeis, James M. Landis, Alfred E. Kahn. Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1984.

· Sellers, Charles Grier. The Market Revolution: Jacksonian America, 1815-1846. Oxford University Press, 1991, 1994.

Other Excellent Sources


· Blackford, Mansel G., and Austin Kerr. Business Enterprise in American History. Houghton Mifflin, 1994.

· Chandler, Alfred Dupont. Strategy and Structure: Chapters in the History of the Industrial Enterprise. M.I.T. Press Research Monographs. M.I.T. Press, 1962, 1969.

· Chandler, Alfred Dupont. The Visible Hand: The Managerial Revolution in American Business. Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1977, 1980.

· The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics.

· Business History Conference. H-Business (listserve).

· Schweikart, Larry. The Entrepreneurial Adventure: A History of Business in the United States. Harcourt College Publishers, 2000.


· Blackford, Mansel G. The Rise of Modern Business in Great Britain, the United States, and Japan. University of North Carolina Press, 1988, 1998.

· Chandler, Alfred Dupont, and Takashi Hikino. Scale and Scope: The Dynamics of Industrial Capitalism. Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1994, 2004.

· Vogel, David. National Styles of Business Regulation: A Case Study of Environmental Protection. Beard Books, 2003.


· Bean, Jonathan J. Beyond the Broker State: Federal Policies toward Small Business, 1936-1961. University of North Carolina Press, 1996.

· Bean, Jonathan J. Big Government and Affirmative Action: The Scandalous History of the Small Business Administration. University Press of Kentucky, 2001.

· Blackford, Mansel G. A History of Small Business in America. University of North Carolina Press, 2003.

· Bruchey, Stuart Weems, ed. Small Business in American Life. Beard Books, 2003.


· Bailyn, Bernard. The New England Merchants in the Seventeenth Century. Harvard University Press, 1955, 1979.

· Beard, Charles Austin. An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States. Macmillan, 1913; Dover, 2004.

· Engel, Marc, and Joseph A. Ernst. "An Economic Interpretation of the American Revolution." William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd Series, 29 (January 1972): 3-32.

· Maier, Pauline B. "The Revolutionary Origins of the American Corporation." William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd Series, 50 (January 1993): 51-84.

· McCusker, John J., and Russell R. Menard. The Economy of British America, 1607-1789. Needs and Opportunities for Study Series. Published for the Institute of Early American History and Culture by the University of North Carolina Press, 1985, 1991.

· Perkins, Edwin J. The Economy of Colonial America. Columbia University Press, 1988.

· Perkins, Edwin J. "The Entrepreneurial Spirit in Colonial America: The Foundations of Modern Business History." Business History Review, 63 (1989): 160-86.


· Fogel, Robert William, and Stanley L. Engerman. Time on the Cross: The Economics of American Negro Slavery. Little, Brown, 1974; W.W. Norton, 1995.

· Foner, Eric. Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men: The Ideology of the Republican Party before the Civil War. Oxford University Press, 1970, 1995.

· Hurst, James Willard. Law and the Conditions of Freedom in the Nineteenth-Century United States. University of Wisconsin Press, 1956, 1964.

· John, Richard R. Spreading the News: The American Postal System from Franklin to Morse. Harvard University Press, 1995, 1998.

· Oakes, James. Slavery and Freedom: An Interpretation of the Old South. Knopf, 1990; W.W. Norton, 1998.

· Porter, Glenn, and Harold C. Livesay. Merchants and Manufacturers: Studies in the Changing Structure of Nineteenth-Century Marketing. Johns Hopkins Press, 1971; Elephant Paperbacks, 1989.

· Scranton, Philip. Proprietary Capitalism: The Textile Manufacture at Philadelphia, 1800-1885. Cambridge University Press, 1983, 2003.

· Taylor, George Rogers. The Transportation Revolution, 1815-1860. Rinehart, 1951; M.E. Sharpe, 1989.

· Wright, Gavin. The Political Economy of the Cotton South: Households, Markets, and Wealth in the Nineteenth Century. Norton, 1978.


· Haber, Samuel. Efficiency and Uplift: Scientific Management in the Progressive Era, 1890-1920. University of Chicago Press, 1964, 1973.

· Horwitz, Morton J. The Transformation of American Law, 1870-1960: The Crisis of Legal Orthodoxy. Oxford University Press, 1992, 1994.

· Kolko, Gabriel. The Triumph of Conservatism: A Re-Interpretation of American History, 1900-1916. Free Press of Glencoe, 1963.

· Lamoreaux, Naomi R. The Great Merger Movement in American Business, 1895-1904. Cambridge University Press, 1985, 1988.

· Martin, Albro. Enterprise Denied: Origins of the Decline of American Railroads, 1897-1917. Columbia University Press, 1971, 1978.

· Scranton, Philip. Figured Tapestry: Production, Markets, and Power in Philadelphia Textiles, 1855-1941. Cambridge University Press, 1989.

· Scranton, Philip. Endless Novelty: Specialty Production and American Industrialization, 1865-1925. Princeton University Press, 1997, 2000.

· Wright, Gavin. Old South, New South: Revolutions in the Southern Economy since the Civil War. Baton Rouge: Basic Books, 1986; Louisiana State University Press, 1996.

· Zunz, Olivier. Making America Corporate, 1870-1920. University of Chicago Press, 1990, 1992.


· Davis, Clark. Company Men: White-Collar Life and Corporate Cultures in Los Angeles, 1892-1941. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000.

· Fearon, Peter. War, Prosperity, and Depression: The U.S. Economy, 1917-1945. P. Allan, 1987.

· Hawley, Ellis Wayne. The New Deal and the Problem of Monopoly: A Study in Economic Ambivalence. Princeton University Press, 1966; Fordham University Press, 1995.

· Higgs, Robert. "Regime Uncertainty: Why the Great Depression Lasted So Long and Why Prosperity Resumed after the War." Independent Review, 1 (Spring 1997): 561-90.

· Wilkins, Mira. The History of Foreign Investment in the United States, 1914-1945. Harvard University Press, 2004.


· Anderson, Terry H. "The New American Revolution: The Movement and Business." IN The Sixties: From Memory to History, pp. 175-205. David Farber, ed. University of North Carolina Press, 1994.

· Frank, Thomas. The Conquest of Cool: Business Culture, Counterculture, and the Rise of Hip Consumerism. University of Chicago Press, 1997.

· Hanchett, Thomas W. "U.S. Tax Policy and the Shopping-Center Boom in the 1950s and 1960s." American Historical Review. 101, no. 4 (October 1996): 1082-1110.

· McCraw, Thomas K. American Business, 1920-2000: How It Worked. Harlan Davidson, 2000.

· Vance, Sandra Stringer, and Roy Vernon Scott. Wal-Mart: A History of Sam Walton's Retail Phenomenon. Maxwell Macmillan International, 1994, 1997.

· Whyte, William Hollingsworth. The Organization Man. University of Pennsylvania Press, 1956, 2002.


· Butler, John S. Entrepreneurship and Self-Help among Black Americans: A Reconsideration of Race and Economics. State University of New York Press, 2005.

· Higgs, Robert. Competition and Coercion: Blacks in the American Economy, 1865-1914. Cambridge University Press, 1977; University of Chicago Press, 1980.

· Ingham, John. "African-American Business Leaders in the South, 1810-1945: Business Success, Community Leadership and Racial Protest." Business and Economic History, 22 (Fall 1993): 262-72.

· Schweninger, Loren. "Black-Owned Businesses in the South, 1790-1880." Business History Review, 63 (Spring 1989): 22-60.

· Walker, Juliet E.K. Encyclopedia of African American Business History. Greenwood Press, 1999.

· Walker, Juliet E.K. The History of Black Business in America: Capitalism, Race, Entrepreneurship. MacMillan Library Reference USA, 1998.

· Weems, Robert E. Desegregating the Dollar: African American Consumerism in the Twentieth Century. New York University Press, 1998.

· Wright, Gavin. "The Civil Rights Revolution as Economic History." Journal of Economic History, 59, no. 2 (June 1999): 267-89.


· Chernow, Ron. The House of Morgan: An American Banking Dynasty and the Rise of Modern Finance. Atlantic Monthly Press, 1990; Grove, 2001.

· Chernow, Ron. Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. Random House, 1998; Vintage, 2004.

· Klein, Maury. The Life and Legend of Jay Gould. Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986, 1997.

· Livesay, Harold C. American Made: Shapers of the American Economy. Pearson-Longman, 2006.

· Sobel, Robert, and David B. Sicilia. The Entrepreneurs: An American Adventure. Houghton Mifflin, 1986.

· Wall, Joseph Frazier. Andrew Carnegie. Oxford University Press, 1970; University of Pittsburgh Press, 1989.

· Zakim, Michael. Ready-Made Democracy: A History of Men's Dress in the American Republic, 1760-1860. University of Chicago Press, 2003.


· Galambos, Louis, and Joseph A. Pratt. The Rise of the Corporate Commonwealth: U.S. Business and Public Policy in the Twentieth Century. Basic Books, 1988.

· Hays, Samuel P., and Barbara D. Hays. Beauty, Health, and Permanence: Environmental Politics in the United States, 1955-1985. Cambridge University Press, 1987, 1989.

· Hughes, Jonathan R.T. The Governmental Habit Redux: Economic Controls from Colonial Times to the Present. Princeton University Press, 1991.

· Kluger, Richard. Ashes to Ashes: America's Hundred-Year Cigarette War, the Public Health, and the Unabashed Triumph of Philip Morris. Vintage Books, 1997.

· McQuaid, Kim. Big Business and Presidential Power: From FDR to Reagan. Morrow, 1982.

· McQuaid, Kim. A Response to Industrialism: Liberal Businessmen and the Evolving Spectrum of Capitalist Reform, 1886-1960. Taylor and Francis, 1986; Beard Books, 2003.

· McQuaid, Kim. Uneasy Partners: Big Business in American Politics, 1945-1990. Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994.

· Vogel, David. Fluctuating Fortunes: The Political Power of Business in America. Beard Books, 1989, 2003.

· Wiebe, Robert H. Businessmen and Reform: A Study of the Progressive Movement. Harvard University Press, 1962; Ivan R. Dee, 1989.


· Calder, Lendol Glen. Financing the American Dream: A Cultural History of Consumer Credit. Princeton University Press, 1999, 2001.

· Cohen, Lizabeth. A Consumers' Republic: The Politics of Mass Consumption in Postwar America. Vintage, 2003.

· Cohen, Lizabeth. Making a New Deal: Industrial Workers in Chicago, 1919-1939. Cambridge University Press, 1990.

· Frank, Thomas. The Conquest of Cool: Business Culture, Counterculture, and the Rise of Hip Consumerism. University of Chicago Press, 1997.

· Jacobs, Meg. Pocketbook Politics: Economic Citizenship in Twentieth-Century America. Princeton University Press, 2004.

· Marchand, Roland. Advertising the American Dream: Making Way for Modernity, 1920-1940. University of California Press, 1985.

· Strasser, Susan. Satisfaction Guaranteed: The Making of the American Mass Market. Pantheon Books, 1989; Smithsonian Books, 2004.

· Tedlow, Richard S. New and Improved: The Story of Mass Marketing in America. Basic Books, 1990.


· Barber, Benjamin R. Jihad vs. McWorld: How Globalism and Tribalism Are Reshaping the World. Times Books, 1995, 1996.

· Bhagwati, Jagdish N. In Defense of Globalization. Oxford University Press, 2004.

· Friedman, Thomas L. The Lexus and the Olive Tree. Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1999.

· Wilkins, Mira, and Harm G. Schröter. The Free-Standing Company in the World Economy, 1830-1996. Oxford University Press, 1998.


· Bonacich, Edna, and John Modell. The Economic Basis of Ethnic Solidarity: Small Business in the Japanese American Community. University of California Press, 1980.

· Dellheim, Charles. "The Business of Jews." IN Constructing Corporate America History, Politics, Culture, Chapter 8, pp. 223-245. Kenneth Lipartito and David B Sicilia. Oxford University Press, 2004.

· Godley, Andrew. Jewish Immigrant Entrepreneurship in New York and London, 1880-1914: Enterprise and Culture. Palgrave, 2001.

· Heinze, Andrew R. Adapting to Abundance: Jewish Immigrants, Mass Consumption, and the Search for American Identity. Columbia University Press, 1990.

· Light, Ivan Hubert, and Edna Bonacich. Immigrant Entrepreneurs: Koreans in Los Angeles, 1965-1982. University of California Press, 1988, 1991.

· Olegario, Rowena. "'That Mysterious People': Jewish Merchants, Transparency, and Community in Mid-Nineteenth Century America." Business History Review 73 (Summer 1999): 161-89.


· Baida, Peter. Poor Richard's Legacy: American Business Values from Benjamin Franklin to Donald Trump. W. Morrow, 1990.

· Cahan, Abraham. The Rise of David Levinsky. Harper and Brothers, 1917; Kessinger Publishing, 2004.

· Dreiser, Theodore. The Financier: A Novel. Harper and Brothers, 1912.

· Fienberg, Lorne. A Cuckoo in the Nest of Culture: Changing Perspectives on the Businessman in the American Novel, 1865-1914. Garland, 1988.

· Howells, William Dean. The Rise of Silas Lapham. Houghton, Mifflin, 1884; Barnes and Noble, 2006.

· Lewis, Sinclair. Babbitt. Harcourt, Brace, 1922; Buccaneer Books, 2006.

· Taylor, Walter Fuller. The Economic Novel in America. Octagon Books, 1964.

· Twain, Mark. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. Harper and Brothers, 1889; Barnes and Noble, 2005.

· Watts, Emily Stipes. The Businessman in American Literature. University of Georgia Press, 1982; Beard Books, 2004.

· Wyllie, Irvin G. The Self-Made Man in America: The Myth of Rags to Riches. Rutgers University Press, 1954; Free Press, 1966.


· Fones-Wolf, Elizabeth A. Selling Free Enterprise: The Business Assault on Labor and Liberalism, 1945-60. University of Illinois Press, 1994.

· Marchand, Roland. Creating the Corporate Soul: The Rise of Public Relations and Corporate Imagery in American Big Business. University of California Press, 1998, 2001.

-- WOMEN (and MEN) --

· Benson, Susan Porter. Counter Cultures: Saleswomen, Managers, and Customers in American Department Stores, 1890-1940. The Working Class in American History. University of Illinois Press, 1986, 1988.

· Bundles, A'Lelia Perry. On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C.J. Walker. Scribner, 2002.

· Gamber, Wendy. The Female Economy: The Millinery and Dressmaking Trades, 1860-1930. University of Illinois Press, 1997.

· Hilkey, Judy Arlene. Character Is Capital: Success Manuals and Manhood in Gilded Age America. University of North Carolina Press, 1997.

· Jacobson, Lisa. "Manly Boys and Enterprising Dreamers: Business Ideology and the Construction of the Boy Consumer, 1910-1930." Enterprise and Society, 2 (June 2001): 225-58.

· Kwolek-Folland, Angel. Engendering Business: Men and Women in the Corporate Office, 1870-1930. Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994, 1998.

· Kwolek-Folland, Angel. Incorporating Women: A History of Women and Business in the United States. Palgrave, 2002.

· Peiss, Kathy Lee. Hope in a Jar: The Making of America's Beauty Culture. Metropolitan Books, 1998; Owl Books, 1999.

· Sandage, Scott A. Born Losers: A History of Failure in America. Harvard University Press, 2005, 2006.

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