AMERICAN COLOSSUS THE TRIUMPH OF CAPITALISM 1865 1900

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American Colossus

Author : H. W. Brands
ISBN : 9780307386779
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 71.44 MB
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From bestselling historian H. W. Brands, a sweeping chronicle of how a few wealthy businessmen reshaped America from a land of small farmers and small businessmen into an industrial giant.
Category: Business & Economics

Age Of Betrayal

Author : Jack Beatty
ISBN : 9780307267245
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 26.99 MB
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Age of Betrayal is a brilliant reconsideration of America's first Gilded Age, when war-born dreams of freedom and democracy died of their impossibility. Focusing on the alliance between government and railroads forged by bribes and campaign contributions, Jack Beatty details the corruption of American political culture that, in the words of Rutherford B. Hayes, transformed “a government of the people, by the people, and for the people” into “a government by the corporations, of the corporations, and for the corporations.” A passionate, gripping, scandalous and sorrowing history of the triumph of wealth over commonwealth. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Category: Business & Economics

Masters Of Enterprise

Author : H.W. Brands
ISBN : 9781476726939
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 84.18 MB
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From the early years of fur trading to today's Silicon Valley empires, America has proved to be an extraordinarily fertile land for the creation of enormous fortunes. Each generation has produced one or two phenomenally successful leaders, often in new industries that caught contemporaries by surprise, and each of these new fortunes reconfirmed the power of fanatically single-minded visionaries. John Jacob Astor and Cornelius Vanderbilt were the first American moguls; John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, and J. P. Morgan were kingpins of the Gilded Age; David Sarnoff, Walt Disney, Ray Kroc, and Sam Walton were masters of mass culture. Today Oprah Winfrey, Andy Grove, and Bill Gates are giants of the Information Age. America has again and again been the land of dizzying mountains of wealth. Here, in a wittily told and deeply insightful history, is a complete set of portraits of America's greatest generators of wealth. Only such a collective study allows us to appreciate what makes the great entrepreneurs really tick. As H. W. Brands shows, these men and women are driven, they are focused, they deeply identify with the businesses they create, and they possess the charisma necessary to persuade other talented people to join them. They do it partly for the money, but mostly for the thrill of creation. The stories told here -- including how Nike got its start as a business-school project for Phil Knight; how Robert Woodruff almost refused to take control of Coca-Cola to spite his father; how Thomas Watson saved himself from prison by rescuing Dayton, Ohio, from a flood; how Jay Gould nearly cornered the gold market; how H. L. Hunt went from gambling at cards to gambling with oil leases -- make for a narrative that is always lively and revealing and often astonishing. An observer in 1850, studying John Jacob Astor, would not have predicted the rise of Henry Ford and the auto industry. Nor would a student of Ford in 1950 have anticipated the takeoff of direct marketing that made Mary Kay Ash a trusted guide for millions of American women. Full of surprising insights, written with H. W. Brands's trademark flair, the stories in Masters of Enterprise are must reading for all students of American business history.
Category: Business & Economics

The Money Men Capitalism Democracy And The Hundred Years War Over The American Dollar Enterprise

Author : H. W. Brands
ISBN : 9780393340501
Genre : History
File Size : 70.35 MB
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An "insightful" (Publishers Weekly) history of the development of American capitalism and the men who made it great. Most Americans are familiar with the political history of the United States, but there is another history woven all through it, a largely forgotten history—the story of the money men. Acclaimed historian H. W. Brands brings them back to life: J. P. Morgan, who stabilized a foundering U.S. Treasury in 1907; Alexander Hamilton, who founded the first national bank, and Nicholas Biddle, under whose directorship it failed; Jay Cooke, who helped to finance the Union war effort through his then-innovative strategy of selling bonds to ordinary Americans; and Jay Gould, who tried to corner the market on gold in 1869 and as a result brought about Black Friday and fled for his life.
Category: History

The General Vs The President

Author : H. W. Brands
ISBN : 9781101912171
Genre : History
File Size : 37.91 MB
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At the height of the Korean War, President Harry S. Truman committed a gaffe that sent shock waves around the world, when he suggested that General Douglas MacArthur, the willful, fearless, and highly decorated commander of the American and U.N. forces, had his finger on the nuclear trigger. At a time when the Soviets, too, had the bomb, the specter of a catastrophic third World War lurked menacingly close on the horizon. A correction quickly followed, but the damage was done; two visions for America's path forward were clearly in opposition, and one man would have to make way. The contest of wills between these two titanic characters unfolds against the turbulent backdrop of a faraway war and terrors conjured at home by Joseph McCarthy. From the drama of Stalin's blockade of West Berlin to the daring landing of MacArthur's forces at Inchon to the shocking entrance of China into the war, The General and the President vividly evokes the making of a new American era.
Category: History

Greenback Planet

Author : H. W. Brands
ISBN : 9780292739338
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 33.81 MB
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The world runs on the U.S. dollar. From Washington to Beijing, governments, businesses, and individuals rely on the dollar to conduct commerce and invest profitably and safely—even after the global financial meltdown in 2008 revealed the potentially catastrophic cost of the dollar's hegemony. But how did the greenback achieve this planetary dominance a mere century and a half after President Lincoln issued the first currency backed only by the credit—and credibility—of the federal government? In Greenback Planet, acclaimed historian H. W. Brands charts the dollar's astonishing rise to become the world's principal currency. Telling the story with the verve of a novelist, he recounts key episodes in U.S. monetary history, from the Civil War debate over fiat money (greenbacks) to the recent worldwide financial crisis. Brands explores the dollar's changing relations to gold and silver and to other currencies and cogently explains how America's economic might made the dollar the fundamental standard of value in world finance. He vividly describes the 1869 Black Friday attempt to corner the gold market, banker J. P. Morgan's bailout of the U.S. treasury, the creation of the Federal Reserve, and President Franklin Roosevelt's handling of the bank panic of 1933. Brands shows how lessons learned (and not learned) in the Great Depression have influenced subsequent U.S. monetary policy, and how the dollar's dominance helped transform economies in countries ranging from Germany and Japan after World War II to Russia and China today. He concludes with a sobering dissection of the 2008 world financial debacle, which exposed the power—and the enormous risks—of the dollar's worldwide reign.
Category: Business & Economics

The Strange Death Of American Liberalism

Author : H. W. Brands
ISBN : 0300098243
Genre : History
File Size : 75.49 MB
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In this provocative book, H. W. Brands confronts the vital question of why an ever-increasing number of Americans do not trust the federal government to improve their lives and to heal major social ills. How is it that government has come to be seen as the source of many of our problems, rather than the potential means of their solution? How has the word liberal become a term of abuse in American political discourse? From the Revolution on, argues Brands, Americans have been chronically skeptical of their government. This book succinctly traces this skepticism, demonstrating that it is only during periods of war that Americans have set aside their distrust and looked to their government to defend them. The Cold War, Brands shows, created an extended--and historically anomalous--period of dependence, thereby allowing for the massive expansion of the American welfare state. Since the 1970s, and the devastating blow dealt to Cold War ideology by America’s defeat in Vietnam, Americans have returned to their characteristic distrust of government. With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Brands contends, the fate of American liberalism was sealed--and we continue to live with the consequences of its demise.
Category: History

A Fierce Discontent

Author : Michael McGerr
ISBN : 1439136033
Genre : History
File Size : 22.23 MB
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The Progressive Era, a few brief decades around the turn of the last century, still burns in American memory for its outsized personalities: Theodore Roosevelt, whose energy glinted through his pince-nez; Carry Nation, who smashed saloons with her axe and helped stop an entire nation from drinking; women suffragists, who marched in the streets until they finally achieved the vote; Andrew Carnegie and the super-rich, who spent unheard-of sums of money and became the wealthiest class of Americans since the Revolution. Yet the full story of those decades is far more than the sum of its characters. In Michael McGerr's A Fierce Discontent America's great political upheaval is brilliantly explored as the root cause of our modern political malaise. The Progressive Era witnessed the nation's most convulsive upheaval, a time of radicalism far beyond the Revolution or anything since. In response to the birth of modern America, with its first large-scale businesses, newly dominant cities, and an explosion of wealth, one small group of middle-class Americans seized control of the nation and attempted to remake society from bottom to top. Everything was open to question -- family life, sex roles, race relations, morals, leisure pursuits, and politics. For a time, it seemed as if the middle-class utopians would cause a revolution. They accomplished an astonishing range of triumphs. From the 1890s to the 1910s, as American soldiers fought a war to make the world safe for democracy, reformers managed to outlaw alcohol, close down vice districts, win the right to vote for women, launch the income tax, take over the railroads, and raise feverish hopes of making new men and women for a new century. Yet the progressive movement collapsed even more spectacularly as the war came to an end amid race riots, strikes, high inflation, and a frenzied Red scare. It is an astonishing and moving story. McGerr argues convincingly that the expectations raised by the progressives' utopian hopes have nagged at us ever since. Our current, less-than-epic politics must inevitably disappoint a nation that once thought in epic terms. The New Deal, World War II, the Cold War, the Great Society, and now the war on terrorism have each entailed ambitious plans for America; and each has had dramatic impacts on policy and society. But the failure of the progressive movement set boundaries around the aspirations of all of these efforts. None of them was as ambitious, as openly determined to transform people and create utopia, as the progressive movement. We have been forced to think modestly ever since that age of bold reform. For all of us, right, center, and left, the age of "fierce discontent" is long over.
Category: History

The Man Who Saved The Union

Author : H. W. Brands
ISBN : 9780307475152
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 57.72 MB
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An analysis of Ulysses Grant's pivotal contributions during the Civil War and his presidency covers his defense of black civil rights, his willingness to sacrifice troops to win the war, and the criticism over his Reconstruction policies.
Category: Biography & Autobiography

Sunbelt Capitalism

Author : Elizabeth Tandy Shermer
ISBN : 9780812207606
Genre : History
File Size : 50.9 MB
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Few Sunbelt cities burned brighter or contributed more to the conservative movement than Phoenix. In 1910, eleven thousand people called Phoenix home; now, over four million reside in this metropolitan region. In Sunbelt Capitalism, Elizabeth Tandy Shermer tells the story of the city's expansion and its impact on the nation. The dramatic growth of Phoenix speaks not only to the character and history of the Sunbelt but also to the evolution in American capitalism that sustained it. In the 1930s, Barry Goldwater and other members of the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce feared the influence of New Deal planners, small businessmen, and Arizona trade unionists. While Phoenix's business elite detested liberal policies, they were not hostile to government action per se. Goldwater and his contemporaries instead experimented with statecraft now deemed neoliberal. They embraced politics, policy, and federal funding to fashion a favorable "business climate," which relied on disenfranchising voters, weakening unions, repealing regulations, and shifting the tax burden onto homeowners and consumers. These efforts allied them with executives at the helm of the modern conservative movement, whose success partially hinged on relocating factories from the Steelbelt to the kind of free-enterprise oasis that Phoenix represented. But the city did not sprawl in a vacuum. All Sunbelt boosters used the same incentives to compete at a fever pitch for investment, and the resulting drain of jobs and capital from the industrial core forced Midwesterners and Northeasterners into the brawl. Eventually this "Second War Between the States" reoriented American politics toward the principle that the government and the citizenry should be working in the interest of business.
Category: History