Academic journal article The Accounting Historians Journal

Foundational Research in Accounting: Professional Memoirs and Beyond

Academic journal article The Accounting Historians Journal

Foundational Research in Accounting: Professional Memoirs and Beyond

Article excerpt

Richard Mattessich, Foundational Research in Accounting: Professional Memoirs and Beyond (Chuo University Press, Tokyo, 1995, 171 pp., Yen 3,090).

Reviewed by Thomas R. Robinson University of Miami

This volume is a professional, biographical essay prepared by Richard Mattessich at the request of faculty members of Chuo University so that it might be published to celebrate Professor Mattessich's upcoming (1997) 75th birthday. Professor Mattessich's important contributions to accounting theory and practice were recently highlighted in a chapter by Cheryl McWatters in Twentieth-Century Accounting Thinkers [edited by J. R. Edwards, Routeledge, London, 1994]. While that volume provides an excellent summary of his accomplishments, a single chapter can not fully do justice to his contributions. This volume helps to complete the picture of Professor Mattessich's life from the best available source, he who experiences it. This book is an excellent source of information on Professor's Mattessich's life, publications and philosophy. It provides a great deal of information not available elsewhere including correspondence between Dr. Mattessich and other notable accounting theorists. It should be must reading for accounting historians and would also be useful to doctoral students, particularly those who complain about their hard life. Dr. Mattessich's recollections of completing his dissertation in a cellar/air raid shelter should stifle any complaints about the current doctoral environment.

After the Preface, Dr. Mattessich begins with a chronological summary of his career from 1940 to 1994. The chronology leaves out his birth date (August 9, 1922 according to McWatters), but is otherwise complete and is greatly supplemented by the text itself. The first two chapters describe Dr. Mattessich's early educational and professional experiences leading up to this completion of a Doctorate in Economic Sciences in 1945. This includes his work as an engineer and the perils of working and completing a doctorate during the war.

The next three chapters detail Dr. Mattessich's subsequent career including research at the Austrian Institute of Economic Research, teaching in Switzerland, actuarial work in Canada, and faculty positions at various institutions, most notably the University of British Columbia and the University of California at Berkeley. …

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