Unique in the market for its breadth of coverage and depth of analysis, this uncommonly readable new book by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Thomas K. McCraw is destined to become a classic supplementary text in a variety of undergraduate as well as graduate courses and seminars. Five of the book's ten chapters provide deft examinations of representative companies and the remarkable people who led them. The firms considered include McDonald's, Procter & Gamble, Boeing, General Motors, and Ford - all of which began as entrepreneurial startups and grew to become big businesses - their success stories counterbalanced by a detailed dissection of the monumental failure of RCA, long the world leader in consumer electronics but now all but extinct.Unforgettable portraits of dazzling entrepreneurs such as Henry Ford, Alfred Sloan of General Motors, David Sarnoff of RCA, and Ray Kroc of McDonald's are supplemented by lucid sketches of a cast of less famous but equally fascinating characters such as: 'Doc' Smelser, the eccentric economics Ph.D. who for 34 years headed Procter & Gamble's world-renowned Market Research Department; Mary Kay Ash, who built a cosmetics empire through the force of her own energy, originality, and generosity to her sales force; Ferdinand Eberstadt, the tough, hard-driving genius of American mobilization during World War II; and June Martino, whose crucial contribution as 'Vice-President of Equilibrium' at McDonald's was rewarded by the gift of 10 percent of the company's common stock. Interspersed with the company-centered chapters are five brief 'overview' chapters - one each on women and African Americans in business, and three on vital sectors of American business: first finance, then chemicals and pharmaceuticals, and, most recently, computers, Silicon Valley, and the Internet. Featuring thirty-five striking photographs and a completely up-to-date bibliographic essay, this compact, enjoyable work will be highly appreciated by all students of U.S. business history and the art of administration.
Business & Investing, Industries & Professions,