Chinese Business History: Interpretive Trends and Priorities for the Future

By Robert Gardella; Jane K. Leonard et al. | Go to book overview
Save to active project

KEITH L. BRYANT, JR.


Response to Daniel Nelson's "Western Business History: Experience and Comparative Perspectives"

Professor Daniel Nelson's article [see pp. 151-65] presents an overview of the evolution of business history in the United States. He notes at the outset that business historians have emphasized the limitations of traditional historical scholarship; have blurred the former boundaries between business, labor, and economic history and the history of technology; and have demonstrated the commonalities of market economies characterized by diverse economic activities. Business history, he argues, reminds us of the power of economics and technology over culture. I would not go that far, a point to which I shall return.

The early sections of the article review the evolution of business history from the emergence of the "robber baron" school and the progressive historians to the creation of the business history group at Harvard University after 1927. The scholarly output from N.S.B. Gras and his colleagues was thoroughly researched and highly descriptive. It provided no framework by which the growth of capitalism in the United States could be interpreted. By the 1930s, Allan Nevins and his army of researchers had challenged the robber-baron school and had created the "captains of industry" perspective. Ironically, both the debunkers and the defenders of the industrial giants emphasized the personalities of a few key individuals. They were not interested in the structure of enterprise or how firms actually functioned. This debate failed to advance

____________________
From a paper presented at the workshop on Scholarly Research on Chinese Business History: Interpretative Trends and Priorities for the Future, University of Akron, October 27-29, 1995.
Keith L. Bryant, Jr., is on the faculty of the University of Akron, Department of History.

-166-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Chinese Business History: Interpretive Trends and Priorities for the Future
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 192

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?