Summary: Marked by a combination of erudition, wit, and eloquence, John Steele Gordon's stories, originating in American Heritage, have celebrated the high and occasional low points in the history of business in this country, from colonial days to the present. Now, the best of his mini-histories have been gathered in one volume, and they present an intriguing lens on the broad sweep of American history.
Gordon deftly connects the past with the present as he compares Frede ...show morerick Philipse's successful cornering of the wampum market in 1666 with the Hunt brothers' failed attempt to corner the silver market in 1979. He looks anew at famous industrialists and uncovers little-remembered heroes such as Samuel Slater, who launched the textile industry in this country. He revels alike in the stories of philanthropist Peter Cooper, and the father of television syndication, Desi Arnaz, and reveals how broad trends have developed (government debt and inflation, for example) and how specific words (boondoggle, pork barrel) have entered our language. He even tells the story of America's greatest cheese, Liederkranz, now lost forever.
In addition to being a superb historian, John Steele Gordon is a great storyteller. Surveying almost four hundred years of enterprise on this continent, The Business of America makes invaluable connections between eras and allows us a new appreciation of the richness of the American story. ...show less