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Enterprising Elite: The Boston Associates and the World They Made

4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0393310795
ISBN-10: 0393310795
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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This is first-rate business history, combining the stories of the pioneer entrepreneurs of the Massachusetts textile industry and their self-conscious effort to solidify the place of the upper class in a democracy. Francis C. Lowell, Nathan Appleton, and others formed a group of "Boston Associates" that first erected mills at Waltham and then in the 1820s at the planned community of Lowell. Dalzell takes pains to stress that these men were risk-averse entrepreneurs; they fled the shipping business for the safer business of manufacturing. Dalzell offers as well a fine history of how the Associates invested in ancillary fields, e.g., insurance, and how they invented the model of philanthropy as the justification for unequal wealth. Highly recommended for college and public libraries. James W. Oberly, History Dept., Univ. of WisconsinEau-Claire
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From the Back Cover

More than any other single group of individuals, the Boston Associates were responsible for the sweeping economic transformation that occurred in New England between 1815 and 1861. This book analyzes for the first time the totality of the Associates' achievement. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 298 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (November 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393310795
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393310795
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #978,517 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book delivers much more than its title suggests. Beginning with the history of the Massachusetts cotton mills, the author takes us through local and national politics, connecting with subjects as diverse as the settlement of Kansas, the founding of Mass. General Hospital, several national elections, the split between north and south, "cotton or conscience" Whigs, and the influence of the Bostonians' example on John D. Rockefeller. By focusing intensely on a group of Boston businessmen, we learn a great deal about the history of America in the early 19th century. Some chapters were a bit difficult to follow, however, for two reasons. First, the author treated different themes (politics, philanthropy, banking, etc.) in separate chapters, which is fine, but that meant that with each chapter we started back at the beginning chronologically - so we went through the 1820's, the 1830's, the 1840's, etc., multiple times. Second, because the book deals with several generations of intertwined families, the same surname can refer to one of several different people. You really have to pay attention to know and remember who is who. Lastly, the author referred to such a rich number and variety of sources that I would have liked a Reference section in addition to the Notes section.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is not strong research considering its author's academic qualifications. Dalzell is a chaired professor at Williams. The pre-eminent study of this important chapter in early industrial capitalism, the founding of the textile mills in Lowell, Mass., is Thomas Dublin's "Women at Work." (Columbia University Press, 1979, 1993)
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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