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Business history/Bibliography

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A list of key readings about Business history.
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Textbooks and surveys: USA

  • Blackford, Mansel G. . A History of Small Business in America ISBN: 0805798242) (1992)
  • Blackford, Mansel G., and K. Austin Kerr. Business Enterprise in American History (ISBN: 0395351553) (1990)
  • Bryant, Keith L. A History of American Business (1983) (ISBN: 0133892476)
  • Chamberlain, John. Enterprising Americans: A Business History of the United States (ISBN: 0060107022) (1974) by popular journalist
  • Chandler, Jr., Alfred D. The Visible Hand: The Managerial Revolution in American Business (1977), highly influential study
  • Chandler, Jr., Alfred D. Strategy and Structure: Chapters in the History of the Industrial Enterprise (1962) online edition
  • Chandler, Jr., Alfred D. Scale and Scope: The Dynamics of Industrial Capitalism (1990).
  • Chandler, Jr., Alfred D. "The Competitive Performance of U.S. Industrial Enterprises since the Second World War," Business History Review 68 (Spring 1994): 1–72.
  • Chandler, Alfred D., Jr. and James W. Cortada. A Nation Transformed by Information: How Information Has Shaped the United States from Colonial Times to the Present (2000) online edition
  • Cochran, Thomas Childs. Business in American Life: A History (1976) online edition
  • Dibacco, Thomas V. Made in the U.S.A.: The History of American Business (1988) (ISBN: 0060914661)
  • Friedman, Walter A. and Tedlow, Richard S. "Statistical Portraits of American Business Elites: a Review Essay." Business History 2003 45(4): 89-113. Issn: 0007-6791
  • Groner, Alex. The American heritage history of American business & industry, (ISBN: 0070011567) (1972), very well illustrated
  • Krooss, Herman Edward. American Business History (ISBN: 0130240834) (1972)
  • Lamoreaux, Naomi R.; Raff, Daniel M. G.; and Temin, Peter. "Beyond Markets and Hierarchies: Toward a New Synthesis of American Business History." American Historical Review 2003 108(2): 404-433. Issn: 0002-8762 Fulltext: History Cooperative and Ebsco
  • Lamoreaux, Naomi R., and Daniel M. G. Raff, eds. Coordination and Information: Historical Perspectives on the Organization of Enterprise (1995)
  • McCraw, Thomas K. American Business, 1920-2000: How It Worked.2000. 270 pp. ISBN: 0-88295-985-9.
  • Porter, Glenn. The rise of big business, 1860-1910 (1973)(ISBN: 0690703945)
  • Schweikart, Larry. The Entrepreneurial Adventure: A History of Business in the United States (2000)
  • Temin, Peter, ed. Inside the Business Enterprise: Historical Perspectives on the Transformation and Use of Information (1992)
  • Walker, Juliet E. K. Encyclopedia of African American Business History Greenwood Press, 1999 online edition
  • Whitten, David O. The Emergence of Giant Enterprise, 1860-1914: American Commercial Enterprise and Extractive Industries (1983) online edition

Textbooks and surveys: World

  • Berghahn, Volker R. Quest for Economic Empire: European Strategies of German Big Business in the Twentieth Century 1996 online edition
  • Blackford Mansel G. The Rise of Modern Business in Great Britain, the United States, and Japan (1998)
  • Cassis, Youssef. Big Business: The European Experience in the Twentieth Century Oxford University Press, 1999 online edition
  • Chandler, Alfred D., Jr. Shaping the Industrial Century: The Remarkable Story of the Evolution of the Modern Chemical and Pharmaceutical Industries. (Harvard Studies in Business History, no. 46.) 2005.
  • Chandler, Alfred D., Jr. Scale and Scope: The Dynamics of Industrial Capitalism (2004)
  • Chapman, Stanley. Merchant Enterprise In Britain (2003)
  • Church, Roy, and Andrew Godley. The Emergence of Modern Marketing (2003) online edition
  • Dávila, Carlos, Rory Miller, and Garry Mills. Business History in Latin America: The Experience of Seven Countries Liverpool University Press, 1999 online edition
  • Robert Gardella, Jane K. Leonard, Andrea McElderry; Chinese Business History: Interpretive Trends and Priorities for the Future M. E. Sharpe, 1998 online edition
  • Hunt, Edwin S.. and James M. Murray. A History of Business in Medieval Europe, 1200-1550 1999
  • Jones, Geoffrey. The Evolution of International Business: An Introduction (1995)
  • Jones, Geoffrey. Merchants to Multinationals: British Trading Companies in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (2000)
  • Kirby, Maurice W. Business Enterprise in Modern Britain: From the Eighteenth to the Twentieth Century (1994)
  • Klassen, Henry Cornelius. Business History of Alberta 1999
  • Lamoreaux, Naomi R., Daniel Raff, and Peter Temin, eds. Learning by Doing in Organizations, Markets, and Nations (1999).
  • Mokyr, Joel. ed. The Oxford Encyclopedia of Economic History 4 vol (2003)
  • Sabel, Charles F., and Jonathan Zeitlin, eds. World of Possibilities: Flexibility and Mass Production in Western Industrialization, (1997)
  • Sluyterman, Keetie E. Dutch Enterprise in the Twentieth Century: Business Strategies in a Small Open Economy (2005) online edition
  • Tignor, Robert L. "The Business Firm in Africa." Business History Review 2007 81(1): 87-110. Issn: 0007-6805
  • Wilson, John F. British Business History, 1720-1994 (1995)


  • Amatori, Franco, and Geoffrey Jones, eds. Business History Around the World (2003)
  • Galambos, Louis. American Business History. Service Center for Teachers of History. 1967, historiographical pamphlet. online version
  • Gras, N.S.B. and Henrietta M. Larson. Casebook in American Business History (1939), with short biographies, company histories and outlines of the main issues
  • Gras, N. S. B. "Are You Writing a Business History?" Bulletin of the Business Historical Society 1944 18(4): 73-110. detailed guide to writing one; in JSTOR
  • Harvey, Charles. Business History: concepts and measurement (1989)
  • Harvey, Charles, and John Turner. Labour and Business in Modern Britain 1989
  • Honeyman, Katrina. "Doing Business with Gender: Service Industries and British Business History." Business History Review 2007 81(3): 471-493.
  • John, Richard R. "Elaborations, Revisions, Dissents: Alfred D. Chander, Jr.'s, The Visible Hand after Twenty Years," Business History Review 71 (Summer 1997): 151–200.
  • Johnman, Lewis and Murphy, Hugh. "Maritime and Business History in Britain: Past, Present, and Future?" International Journal of Maritime History 2007 19(1): 239-270. Issn: 0843-8714
  • Kirkland, Edward C. "The Robber Barons Revisited," The American Historical Review, Vol. 66, No. 1. (Oct., 1960), pp. 68-73. in JSTOR
  • Klass, Lance, and Susan Kinnell. Corporate America: A Historical Bibliography 1984
  • Klein, Maury. "Coming Full Circle: the Study of Big Business since 1950." Enterprise & Society: the International Journal of Business History 2001 2(3): 425-460. Issn: 1467-2227 Fulltext: OUP
  • Larson, Henrietta M. "Business History: Retrospect and Prospect." Bulletin of the Business Historical Society 1947 21(6): 173-199. in Jstor
  • McCarthy, Dennis M. International Business History: A Contextual and Case Approach (1994)
  • McElderry, Andrea Lee, Jane Kate Leonard, and Robert Gardella. Chinese Business History: Interpretive Trends and Priorities for the Future (1998)
  • Rollings, Neil. "British Business History: a Review of the Periodical Literature for 2005." Business History 2007 49(3): 271-292. Issn: 0007-6791
  • Supple, Barry Emmanuel. Essays in British Business History (1977)
  • Toms, Steven and Wilson, John F. "Scale, Scope and Accountability: Towards a New Paradigm of British Business History." Business History 2003 45(4): 1-23. Issn: 0007-6791
  • Tucker, Kenneth Arthur. Business History: Selected Readings (1977)

Monographs: U.S.

  • Bailyn, Bernard. The New England Merchants in the Seventeenth Century (1955);
  • Cochran, Thomas C. The Pabst Brewing Company: The History of an American Business (1948) online edition
  • Cole, Arthur H. The American Wool Manufacture 2 vol (1926)
  • Dicke, Thomas S. Franchising in America: The Development of a Business Method, 1840-1980 (1992) online edition
  • Doerflinger, Thomas M. A Vigorous Spirit of Enterprise: Merchants and Economic Development in Revolutionary Philadelphia (1986)
  • Scranton, Philip. Proprietary Capitalism: The Textile Manufacture at Philadelphia, 1800–1885 (1983)
  • Scranton, Philip. Figured Tapestry: Production, Markets, and Power in Philadelphia Textiles, 1885–1941 (1989).
  • Tucker, Barbara M. Samuel Slater and the Origins of the American Textile Industry, 1790–1860 (1984)
  • Weare, Walter B. Black Business in the New South: A Social History of the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company (1993) online edition
  • Williamson, Harold F. and Arnold R. Daum. The American Petroleum Industry: The Age of Illumination, 1859-1899, (1959); online edition vol 1; vol 2, American Petroleum Industry: the Age of Energy 1899-1959, 1964. The standard history of the oil industry.