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The Company: A Short History of a Revolutionary Idea (Modern Library Chronicles #12)

3.55  ·  Rating Details  ·  304 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
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
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Paperback, 272 pages
Published January 11th 2005 by Modern Library (first published 2003)
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(showing 1-30 of 733)
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Nelson Rosario
Aug 26, 2015 Nelson Rosario rated it really liked it
Shelves: memory
Excellent book. The Corporation is a ubiquitous part of our daily lives. If you want a concise explanation of the systems that led to this happening read this book. One thing I love about reading history is noticing the similarities between my time and the past. For example, many of the complaints you read about today (corporations are too powerful, corporations are agents of corruption, etc.) have been lobbed against corporations since their inception. This is a quick and informative read. High ...more
Razvan Zamfirescu
Spicuiri din recenzia finala care se gaseste pe blogul meu



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Mi-a plăcut foarte mult modul în care autorii au ales să explice și să dezvolte evoluția managerului ca personaj cheie și om al companiei. Multe dintre problemele cu care s-au confruntat companiile din secolele trecute sunt încă de actualitate, managerii fiind o nouă clasă fără de care patronatul n-ar reuși să se bucure de afacerea pe care a inventat-o și crescut-o. Omul companiei așa cum îl prez
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Courtney
Sep 04, 2012 Courtney rated it liked it
Shelves: research
The earliest companies were consortia of tradesmen. The earliest organized non-governmental units were probably churches and universities. But for centuries, legal constraints kept all but a handful of profit-seeking ventures from growing large. The few exceptions existed in the form of government-granted monopolies, most prominently the huge trading companies that dominated the global world of business from the 1600s through the 1800s.

"The Company" quickly walks its reader through a condensed e
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Crystal
Aug 08, 2008 Crystal rated it liked it
Very short, but good overview of the development of the joint-stock company. It's helpful to have a sense of where these "powers that be" come from.
The company has a horrific history, has drastically changed our global society and has potential for a lot of good. Anything that exists simply to create wealth, however, is fundamentally flawed and I don't think it will be too long (maybe 2-300 years) (maybe a lot less) until we dispense of it.

Philosophically, I definitely fall into the "stakehold
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Noah Weisling
Sep 28, 2015 Noah Weisling rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was assigned this book for my course at IU on the history of the corporation, and I fell in love with it. It's a perfect short and brief history. It does not get too in depth, but it provides a great overview of how the company had developed into what it is today
Leo Sanchez De Ferrari
Jul 02, 2015 Leo Sanchez De Ferrari rated it it was amazing
I really like how the content is laid out and appreciate the criteria used in selecting what, of all the historical data, to focus on. The reading is light and very entertaining as well as informative. I’ve read the book three times already, I highly recommend it.
Vedran Kuljanin
Jul 19, 2014 Vedran Kuljanin rated it it was amazing
Good book. Easy read and accounts for ancient history to our present day, with three different potential futures of the company as a conclusion. It was interesting to learn how the idea developed and what positives and negatives came from the company. Recommended for sure
Lydia
Jun 03, 2016 Lydia rated it really liked it
The Company is a history of the transformation of companies and the surprising ways they have changed the world. The authors ambitiously cover 3000 B.C. to 2002 A.D., but focus mainly on business in the United States from the 19th to the 20th century. It was fascinating to see how companies have developed from the East India Company, to the railroad barons of the 19th century, to Enron, and finally to the modern age.

In its brevity, the authors don't take the space to explain many business terms
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Doug
Sep 11, 2011 Doug rated it it was ok
A superficial paean to the corporate form of business that explains away recent aberrations like Enron and Worldcom and also discredits government oversight while at the same time touting government regulations and an aggressive free press as checks on the ability of corporations to make mischief. Recent events suggest that the authors' take charitably may be described as naive. Still, the book may be comforting to parents who wonder whether their childrens' business school tuition is well spent ...more
Kyrre Kjellevold
Mar 10, 2014 Kyrre Kjellevold rated it really liked it
Entertaining, and with both funny and critical whims.
Hao Deng
Jul 12, 2014 Hao Deng rated it it was amazing
Not finished, but already giving this a 5.
Arash Kamangir
May 12, 2014 Arash Kamangir rated it really liked it
نگاه کتاب کاملا اقتصادی ه. با این آگاهی، کتاب خوبی ه برای خوندن و وقتی هم نمی بره.
Diane Ramirez
Apr 01, 2008 Diane Ramirez rated it it was ok
This book was better in theory than in reality. A short book giving the very broadest strokes telling of the beginning of modern-day corporate structure. Probably too short and too general for such a topic that warrants many Michener-sized volumes. Would you read a pamphlet on the history of the USSR/Russia? Or listen to Bach's Mass in B Minor as a ringtone? Methinks not. My advice is find something more illuminating to read.
niste eroi fara societate
Feb 26, 2016 niste eroi fara societate rated it did not like it
O carte scrisa parca pentru liceu .Mai degraba citesti un articol pe The Economist si esti mai castigat .
Abraham
Jun 30, 2013 Abraham rated it it was amazing
Really good book on the history of the company. If you want to learn and understand why joint stock companies exist, why CSR is now mainstream among Fortune 500 companies, how Soxly improved corporate governance, and many other issues surrounding "the company", then this book is a must read.
Patrick
Jul 22, 2007 Patrick rated it it was ok
Shelves: business-history
The book I started with when I decided to learn more about business and how it works. Fairly interesting, moreso if you don't know anything about business history...

Definitely a subject worthy of the Modern Library Chronicles series...
Bernadine
Sep 01, 2008 Bernadine rated it really liked it
Fascinating from an anthropological perspective...how much of what we take for granted in our culture is based on corporate history. I also appreciate that the authors presented the company as neither demon nor savior.
Christos Bouras
Jan 02, 2014 Christos Bouras rated it really liked it
An easy going book for this idea
Mark Jakubik
Feb 10, 2011 Mark Jakubik rated it really liked it
Excellent brief history of the limited liability corporation, and a very interesting intro to the critical role that the corporation has played in western history.
Antonia Scholz
Dec 22, 2007 Antonia Scholz rated it really liked it
Great coverage of a shockingly unrepresented historical movement. Everything from the Virginia company which developed America itself to Microsoft!
Jeff
Jan 10, 2009 Jeff rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
One of those books that perfectly fills a niche. This a very interesting and very readable short history of the joint-stock company.
Tom Plaskon
Feb 17, 2016 Tom Plaskon rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
One of the best books I have read in the last few years. This fundamentally changed how I understood the modern economy/world.
Evan
Jun 10, 2007 Evan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A beautifully written (as non-fiction books go), well-argued history and defense of the joint-stock company (corporations).
Lori Grant
A should-read book on middle management for knowledge workers, managers, executives, and entrepreneurs.
JuliAnna
Jul 15, 2008 JuliAnna rated it it was ok
Shelves: history
Mildly interesting history told from deep within a laissez faire capitalist ideological perspective.
Void lon iXaarii
Aug 18, 2011 Void lon iXaarii rated it it was ok
Interesting perspective with some nice historical data to put things to the right scale.
Chris Davis
Aug 07, 2010 Chris Davis rated it really liked it
A good book about the history of the company: how it came into begin and its purpose
Thomas
May 24, 2008 Thomas rated it liked it
Good basic information. Needs supplementary works for the serious reader.
Nat
Jan 04, 2008 Nat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Breaking bread ... what a wonderful idea.
DeShawn Latta
DeShawn Latta marked it as to-read
Jun 26, 2016
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