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The Birth of Big Business in the United States, 1860-1914: Commercial, Extractive, and Industrial Enterprise [Hardcover]

David O. Whitten , Bessie E. Whitten

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Book Description

Nov. 30 2005 031332395X 978-0313323959

The economic and cultural roots of contemporary American business can be traced directly to developments in the era between the Civil War and World War I. The physical expansion of the country combined with development of transportation and communication infrastructures to create a free market of vast proportion and businesses capable of capitalizing on the accompanying economies of scale, through higher productivity, lower costs, and broader distribution. The Birth of Big Business in the United StateS≪/i> illuminates the conditions that changed the face of American business and the national economy, giving rise to such titans as Standard Oil, United States Steel, American Tobacco, and Sears, Roebuck, as well as institutions such as the United States Post Office. During this period, commercial banking and law also evolved, and, as the authors argue, business and government were not antagonists but partners in creating mass consumer markets, process innovations, and regulatory frameworks to support economic growth. The Birth of Big Business in the United StateS≪/i> is not only an incisive account of modern business development but a fascinating glimpse into a dynamic period of American history.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 222 pages
  • Publisher: Praeger (Nov. 30 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031332395X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0313323959
  • Product Dimensions: 24 x 16 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 431 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,065,356 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"The authors accurately describe this volume as an introductory work that draws together diverse threads of US business history; it provides a straightforward account of the rise of American big business, characterized by increasing efficiency and productivity alongside the growth of monopolistic forces….Readers will enjoy the way the authors, an academician and scholarly editor respectively, put modern business practices into historical context. This book provides a considerable amount of detail while being engaging enough to hold the interest of general readers and undergraduates. Recommended. Public and academic library collections, lower-division undergraduate and up."



"[O]ffers a good foundation for understanding why big businesses appeared after the Civil War, and the role of the government in this process. As such it serves as a springboard for undergraduates and general readers who wish to delve deeper into the field of business history."



Book Description

Traces the economic, cultural, and historical roots of America's modern business enterprise in the years between the Civil War and World War I.

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