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The Company: A Short History of a Revolutionary Idea (Modern Library Chronicles) Paperback – January 11, 2005

4.2 out of 5 stars 62 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for The Company by John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge


“Remarkable . . . True believers in the free market faith and heretics alike will profit from knowing this history.”
San Francisco Chronicle

“A swashbuckling journey through the past and into the future of the modern company.”
Los Angeles Times

The authors take up [the corporation’s] tale with brio and wit . . . . Worthwhile for almost anyone with an interest in the subject.”
The Wall Street Journal

“The limited-liability joint-stock company is a very marvel of the modern world economy, a historical force to rival religions, monarchies, and even states. The Company tells the colorful story of its birth and maturation—and its pervasive social and cultural consequences—with rare concision and flair.”
David M. Kennedy, author of Freedom from Fear and professor of history at Stanford University

“A fascinating and delightful investigation both of how the guilds and ‘corporate persons’ of the Middle Ages turned into the institution from which so many people today directly and indirectly earn their daily bread and of the issues facing the company in the twenty-first century.”
Daniel Yergin, author of The Prize and coauthor of The Commanding Heights: The Battle for the World Economy

From the Inside Flap

From the acclaimed authors of A Future Perfect comes the untold story of how the company became the world's most powerful institution.

Like all groundbreaking books, The Company fills a hole we didn't know existed, revealing that we cannot make sense of the past four hundred years until we place that seemingly humble Victorian innovation, the joint-stock company, in the center of the frame.

With their trademark authority and wit, Economist editors John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge reveal the company to be one of history's great catalysts, for good and for ill, a mighty engine for sucking in, recombining, and pumping out money, goods, people, and culture to every corner of the globe. What other earthly invention has the power to grow to any size, and to live to any age? What else could have given us both the stock market and the British Empire? The company man, the company town, and company time? Disneyfication and McDonald'sization, to say nothing of Coca-colonialism? Through its many mutations, the company has always incited controversy, and governments have always fought to rein it in. Today, though Marx may spin in his grave and anarchists riot in the streets, the company exercises an unparalleled influence on the globe, and understanding what this creature is and where it comes from has never been a more pressing matter. To the rescue come these acclaimed authors, with a short volume of truly vast range and insight.


From the Hardcover edition.

Product details

  • Item Weight : 7.5 ounces
  • Paperback : 272 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 9780812972870
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0812972870
  • Dimensions : 5.15 x 0.61 x 7.99 inches
  • Publisher : Modern Library; Reprint edition (January 11, 2005)
  • Language: : English
  • ASIN : 0812972872
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.2 out of 5 stars 62 ratings

Customer reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5
62 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on January 10, 2013
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Reviewed in the United States on January 28, 2008
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Top reviews from other countries

Timothy Bates
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, readable and even-handed account of the creation and impact of the company on modern civilisation
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 6, 2012
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4 people found this helpful
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L. Stroke
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating history
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 23, 2018
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One person found this helpful
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Robert A. Campbell
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable and informative
Reviewed in Canada on October 2, 2014
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M Clark
5.0 out of 5 stars A short, compact history of a very important innovation
Reviewed in Germany on December 19, 2013
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Mercedes
5.0 out of 5 stars Muy interesante y de plena actualidad Iara entender algo del mundo de la empresa.
Reviewed in Spain on November 8, 2018
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