The rise of big trusts and corporations in the United States in the late nineteenth century was accompanied by serious legal and ethical abuses of power by these corporations and their managers, resulting in a bitter battle between the business establishment on the one hand and reform-minded journalists, lawyers, and economists on the other. The battle focused on these central ideas: What is the purpose of the business corporation? What is its place in society? What are its duties to that society, and what are the responsibilities of its managers and owners? This very timely set includes works by a number of major early writers on corporate governance. The books and articles presented here capture that debate in all its variety, and the views of their authors continue to resonate today.