Tagged: sklar

Martin J. Sklar – Capitalism and Socialism in the Emergence of Modern America: The Formative Era, 1890s-1916

I.


To some large extent, the best of the past few decades’ business history may be characterized as the social, organizational, and economic history of the business firm, of the enterprise, relatively narrowly conceived.1 More recently, the task increasingly recognized as on the agenda by the leading scholars is to make it more broadly conceived, that is, to relate the evolving shape of enterprise to that of society, or at least to broader forces or trends shaping society.2 This work may be thought of as involving a marriage of the invaluable business history emanating from such institutional scholars as A. D. H. Kaplan, Edith T. Penrose, Alfred D. Chandler, Jr., and his younger colleagues, on the one hand, and on the other, the venerable older sociological-economic history emanating from such scholars as John R. Commons, Thorstein Veblen, Joseph A. Schumpeter, Peter F. Drucker, Adolf A. Berle, Gardiner C. Means, Thomas Cochran, Louis Hacker, Edward Kirkland, and John K. Galbraith. Among the latter, Berle and Galbraith, and most persistently and incisively Drucker, in the mid- to late-20th century, have led in bringing together the two bodies of work, yielding rich and fruitful concepts, perspectives, and paths of research. To those of us who knew his lectures or seminar work, and have read his writings with care, William A. Williams’s significant and lasting contribution resides in large part in his pioneering efforts along these matrimonial lines in interpreting United States political-economic history.3 Continue reading