: The company (9780812972870) : John Micklethwait, Adrian Wooldridge : Books
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The Company

by John Micklethwait, Adrian Wooldridge
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Product Details

  • Publisher: Modern Library
  • Publishing date: 11/01/2005
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-13: 9780812972870
  • ISBN: 0812972872


Chosen by BusinessWeek as One of the Top Ten Business Books of the Year

With apologies to Hegel, Marx, and Lenin, the basic unit of modern society is neither the state, nor the commune, nor the party; it is the company. From this bold premise, John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge chart the rise of one of history’s great catalysts for good and evil.

In a “fast-paced and well-written” work (Forbes), the authors reveal how innovations such as limitations on liability have permitted companies to rival religions and even states in importance, governing the flow of wealth and controlling human affairs–all while being largely exempt from the rules that govern our lives.

The Company is that rare, remarkable book that fills a major gap we scarcely knew existed. With it, we are better able to make sense of the past four centuries, as well as the events of today.

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  • new insight
    From Amazon

    The book introduced the history of coporation in a very different way. From the book, you could develop a new insight into the business world.

  • Good, but with a huge emphasis on the "SHORT" in "short history."
    From Amazon

    Simply stated, there's room for a lot more book here. Our fearless authors really have found an important slice of economic and business history that has seemingly been overlooked by most others. And what a rich field it is! The history of the company itself! What exactly is a company? Where did the idea come from? How has it evolved? Where is it going?

    Not only does the book tackle fertile and under-covered territory, but it's got the right authors, too. Micklethwait and Wooldridge are editors at The Economist, truly one of the most clear-headed periodicals out there. To be fair to these guys, they answer all of the questions I posed in the first paragraph and they do it in interesting style too. They bring up pertinent facts, interesting viewpoints and penetrating questions.

    So why not five stars?

    Because it barely scratches the surface of the topic it covers. You find yourself reading one thing after another that you'd like to know a lot more about, but then find yourself moving on to a new topic without having your thirst for knowledge about the last topic even mildly quenched.

    Perhaps that's all right. The book claims in its own title to be a short history. It can serve as a quick introduction to a number of different topics that a reader can dig into more deeply if the spirit moves them. Further, maybe this book will serve as the call for other qualified authors and historians to focus some attention on this under-covered area of economics and history.

    I hope it does, but this book kept leaving me wanting at least a little more on every topic it touched. Recommended, but be prepared to feel like your being rushed through a tour of a museum that you'd really like to spend some time in.

    Hats off to Micklethwait and Wooldridge for making one point clearly: the company is the single greatest engine of wealth (of all kinds) we have in the modern world, and that forgetting that could be tragic.

  • Good historical overview
    From Amazon

    I liked the book overall. More or less I was just interested in the time period from the American Industrial Revolution on, so the first few chapters were somewhat lost on me due to presumptions the author makes about the readers general historical knowledge. But I still would recomend this title for anyone interested in knowing how business has progressed over time.

  • A very good introduction
    From Amazon

    If you are interested in business history this is the book to start.

  • A wonderful quick historical overview of corporate development....
    From Amazon

    This really was a fascinating read into the evolution of companies into the corporations we know today. This gives the full global view of how stock holding companies became the modern corporation. Excellent!

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