Synopses & Reviews
Like all groundbreaking works, The Company
fills a hole we never knew was there, showing us why it's impossible to understand the history of the past four hundred years without placing the humble joint-stock company at the center of the picture. Doing so, the authors reveal the company to be one of the great catalysts of world history, a mighty engine for gathering in and pumping out money, goods, people, and culture to every corner of the globe, for good and for ill. It is a creature that exists independently of mortal ownership, with the power to grow to any size and live to any age. What other institution could have given us the stock market, the British Empire, the company man, the company town, company time, Coca-colonization, Disneyfication, McDonaldsization?
Through all the company's many changing forms, it has always been controversial, and governments have always tried to rein it in. But today, though Marx may turn over in his grave and anarchists may riot in the streets, the company has never exercised greater global power, and it has never been more important to understand what this beast is and where it came from. Miraculously, the brilliant John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge have explained just that, in a short volume whose range and authority are equaled only by its eloquence.
"Economist editors Micklethwait and Wooldridge present a compact and timely book that deftly sketches the history of the company....The authors' breadth of knowledge is impressive. They infuse their engaging prose with a wide range of cultural, historical and literary references, with quotes from poets to presidents." Publishers Weekly
" We learn that the company's past is often more dramatic than its present; in general, companies have become more ethical, more honest, more humane, and more socially responsible than in past eras; and the company has been one of the West's great competitive advantages." Mary Whaley, Booklist
"A fascinating and delightful investigation both of how the guilds and corporate persons of the Middle Ages turned into the institution from which so many people today directly and indirectly earn their daily bread and of the issues facing the company in the twenty-first century." Daniel Yergin, author of The Prize and coauthor of The Commanding Heights: The Battle for the World Economy
Includes bibliographical references (p. -212) and index.
About the Author
John Micklethwait oversees coverage of the United States for The Economist. He lives in London. Adrian Wooldridge works for The Economist in Washington, D.C. They are coauthors of A Future Perfect: The Challenge and Promise of Globalization and The Witch Doctors: Making Sense of the Management Gurus.