A popular text and valuable resource since the first edition was published in 1972, Robert Sobel's The Age of Giant Corporations is now available in a third edition, bringing the history up to the present. This book describes the industries and corporations that have played major roles in the nation's economic growth since the outbreak of World War I. It concentrates on management, technology, marketing and finance, and is concerned with the interrelations and intertwining of political and industrial power. The current edition includes a new chapter covering the impact of junk bonds and corporate governance in the 1980s and early 1990s, an age of restructuring and re-creation in giant corporations.
Taking a chronological approach, the volume opens with a chapter on American business during World War I. The author then covers the 1920s in two chapters, one on the glamour industries of the era and one discussing power, consolidation, and mass distribution. Turning to the Depression era in Chapters 4, 5, and 6, he then considers the failure of finance capitalism, business during the New Deal, and growth elements during the Depression. Chapter 7 considers government-business relations in World War II, and Chapter 8 discussed monopsony and conglomerates in postwar America. Turning to the 1960s and 1970s, the next two chapters are devoted to big business and then to decline, revival, and renewal. The final chapter covers the era of the junk bond and its aftermath. The Age of Giant Corporations will continue to be a valuable book for students and scholars of U.S. economic history.
About the Author:
ROBERT SOBEL, is Lawrence Stessin Professor of Business History at New College, Hofstra University. His most recent books include, The Life and Times of Dillon Read (1991), Trammell Crow: Master Builder (1989), and Dangerous Dreamers: The Path to the Destruction of Michael Milken (1993).