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Creating Modern Capitalism: How Entrepreneurs, Companies, and Countries Triumphed in Three Industrial Revolutions Hardcover – November 5, 1999


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Editorial Reviews

Review

Few thinkers have inquired more deeply into the historical roots of big business and big government than Alfred Chandler of the Harvard Business School. Here, his student, a Pulitzer Prize winner, pulls together a variety of great stories into a cohesive whole--from Josiah Wedgwood to the two Watsons of IBM to the saga of 7-Eleven stores in the United States and Japan.
--David Warsh (Boston Globe)

This is by far the best textbook on comparative business history that has appeared to date, and it will no doubt be seized on eagerly by teachers in the field.
--Steven Tolliday (Business History)

About the Author

Thomas K. McCraw is Straus Professor of Business History Emeritus at the Harvard Business School. His book Prophets of Regulation was awarded the 1985 Pulitzer Prize in history.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 760 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press (November 5, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674175557
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674175556
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 7.2 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,100,301 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By T. Graczewski VINE VOICE on March 1, 2011
Format: Paperback
It is interesting and usually insightful to contrast influential theses on great topics in history. Take business innovation and capitalist-driven growth in the developed western economies. Alfred Chandler won the Pulitzer Prize with "The Visible Hand," a comprehensive and penetrating review of US economic history, which argued for the powerful impact of two roughly simultaneous technology and management driven revolutions: 1) mass distribution, a result of a continental transportation and communication network brought by the railroad and telegraph and innovative new retail channels (department stores and mail order services mainly); and 2) mass production, where energy and technology intensive industries generated nearly inconceivable gains in output to meet the white hot velocity of inventory turnover enabled by the new distribution network. The complexity and speed of the new system was so intense it required something novel to enterprises: the professional, salaried manager. It is necessary to note that nary a word was spoken about marketing in that seminal piece of economic history.

A Harvard MBA colleague of mine was so impressed with "Creating Modern Capitalism: How Entrepreneurs, Companies, and Countries Triumphed in Three Industrial Revolutions," an assigned textbook at HBS, evidently, that he bought me a copy. I found that the authors widen the geographic and temporal scope taken by Chandler, looking at the economies of Britain, Japan and Germany, as well as the US, while profiling some iconic entrepreneurs from those dynamic, but essentially unique capitalist engines, and ultimately landing on a very different driver of success for such diverse enterprises as Wedgwood pottery, Rolls Royce automobiles and aircraft engines, IBM, Thyssen Steel, and 7-Eleven Japan.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Arya Salehi-kermani on September 23, 2007
Format: Paperback
The book covers the history of capitalism in great detail outlining the major turning points and how it has evolved to shape modern capitalism. A definite must read for whoever is interested in the nature of a capitalist society.
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Dear Reader on May 5, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an excellent collection of articles describing people, firms, and nations that succeeded in modern capitlism. Looking a the four most successful economies of the past two centuries: England, US, Germany, and Japan- Prof. McCraw's expertly edited and coherent collection of articles gives the reader a flavor of what made for great success in the capitalist economy. Each country has three articles: a firm, an entrepenure, and the country itself for a total of 12 articles each written by true experts. McCraw's understanding of capitlism is somewhat skewed toward the modern, however on the whole the book is extremely balanced. Of partiuclar note, is Prof. David Moss's article on the Deutch Bank which dicusses the succcess, failures, rewards, and dark side of capitalism.
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