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American Entrepreneur: The Fascinating Stories of the People Who Defined Business in the United States Hardcover – Bargain Price, September 23, 2009


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Hardcover, Bargain Price, September 23, 2009
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 544 pages
  • Publisher: AMACOM (September 23, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814414117
  • ASIN: B0058M7AV2
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.4 x 1.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,185,944 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"…provides readers with fresh insight into the past and a hopeful vision of the future." --ForeWord Magazine



“A history of America told through the lens of our most innovative businessmen, AMERICAN ENTREPRENEUR, is an informative collection of biographies.” -- San Francisco Book Review



“A great book to read.” -- “The Entrepreneur” column by syndicated columnist Marc Kramer



“…offers a crash course in the history of U.S. business…you'll leave with a much better understanding of the 400 years of America's capitalist experiment.”

-- Forbes.com

Book Description

Ever since the first colonists landed in “The New World,” Americans have forged ahead in their quest to make good on the promises of capitalism and independence. This book vividly illustrates the history of business in the United States from the point of view of the enterprising men and women who made it happen.

Weaving together vivid narrative with economic analysis, American Entrepreneur recounts fascinating successes and failures, including: how Eli Whitney changed the shape of the American business landscape...the impact of the Civil War on the economy and the subsequent dominance of Andrew Carnegie and J. P. Morgan...the rise of the consumer marketplace led by Asa Candler, W. K. Kellogg, Henry Ford, and J.C. Penny...and Warren Buffett’s, Michael Milken’s, and even Martha Stewart’s experience in the “New Economy” of the 1990s and into today.

It is an adventure to start a business, and the greatest risk takers in that adventure are entrepreneurs. This is the epic story of America’s entrepreneurs and the economy they created.


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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 11 customer reviews
It's easy to read along with and easy to grasp, but it is also comprehensive and provides many names.
WritingIrish
Anyone who wants to become an entrepreneur should read this book because it reminds everyone that you can come from any background and start an enterprise at any age.
Marc Kramer
Obviously, this is a VERY PERSONAL REVIEW on my part and you may disregard it if you are not expecting what I did when I was buying this book.
Sumit Pathak

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Brendan Lindner on February 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This book is a strong example of how in today's world we longer see economic problems through the scope of "Austrian Economics." While the stories in this book may be very one-sided at times (aka Lincoln supposedly having built the transcontinental railroad to increase his real-estate assets) it is definitely a must read for students interested in economic policy and how government decisions are made from monetary incentives. This book discusses reasons for why the central bank was made, political entrepreneurs (greedy politicians) v market entrepreneurs (innovators), and how projects that benefit politicians are often disguised as "public interest spending."
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sumit Pathak on June 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I did enjoy reading this book but at some point started realizing how it wasn't really teaching me anything but rather giving me a chronological approach towards American entrepreneurs/pioneers and their achievements. I understand that this was the purpose of the book but I was probably the only one who was expecting to take a lesson away from it besides the obvious ones like "stay true to yourself", "always remember to pursue your goals", "fight for what you believe in" etc etc.

I felt it lacked a certain soul that would be necessary for me to feel inspired by it and imbibe enough experiences to utilize it in my style and ethic of working.

Obviously, this is a VERY PERSONAL REVIEW on my part and you may disregard it if you are not expecting what I did when I was buying this book.

It is a VERY GOOD history lesson. And it is VERY WELL WRITTEN.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Marc Kramer on May 30, 2010
Format: Hardcover
We chose this book because it was inspiring and provided a historical account of how the United States became the launching pad for many of the world's greatest companies. Anyone who wants to become an entrepreneur should read this book because it reminds everyone that you can come from any background and start an enterprise at any age. Government officials at all levels that are considering laws that would restrain free enterprise would benefit from reading this book because it will remind them why we need to fight to perserve and nuture the world's greatest innovation and job creator. It's a story that I am sure leaders in other countries have read and try to emulate. Lastly, I also teach a class in entrepreneurship at Drexel University and I have mad this book required reading.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Richard N. Panton on April 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My college began using Larry's prior book, "Entrepreneurial Adventure" as the freshman introductory text to business a few years ago. Our students liked it
(faculty didn't because it lacked the teaching aides that come packaged with most texts, which interestingly did not bother the adjuncts). EA has gone out of print. "American Entrepreneur" was reported to be the next edition, with increased coverage of the late 20th century and up to date through the housing & banking crises of '08-'09.

With the new publisher comes a revised format. Gone are the sidebar stories of unique individuals in US business history, along with all of the illustrations and graphics. The people stories are now woven throughout the main text, so they are not lost. Several students have read both EA and AE and they report that the older book was an easier read. I find little difference, and AE is definitely a higher quality book.

I highly recommend "American Entrepreneur" for anyone who has come through an American public school system. It relates the story of business and government in America in a unique and useful way. It is unabashedly capitalist in outlook and tenor, making a wonderful counterpoint to the teachings of most public institutions. Is it biased? Of course it is, just differently than other biased viewpoints. Before any American is allowed to vote, they should read AE's side of our history.

I hope that in 2015 or so there is a 3rd issue of the story, looking at the culmination of the current economic recovery. It can review the new interactions of business, government and entrepreneurs and hopefully show that capitalism remains alive and well in the American spirit, perhaps convincing future American leaders to cultivate that spirit, not constrain it.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A. Arroyo on February 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Given that it was written by two college professors, I get the feeling that it was written primarily as a textbook for their students (and an extra way for them to make money off of their positions). I love profiles and hoped that it provide wise, well-researched insights on a variety of great American entrepreneurs. Instead, it just provides a historical explanation of the business environment that allowed entrepreneurship to flourish. It doesn't really tell me anything new that I didn't already know; it just says it a lot more words and points to other people, aka academics, who have also said the same thing. For example, the US Constitution allowed business enterprises to flourish since it prohibited states from exacting commercial barriers to protect their own constituents.

Bottom line: I feel like I'm reading a lengthy grad school thesis rather than an enjoyable, informative book about actual entrepreneurs. If it weren't on clearance at the borders, I would take it back for a refund.
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