- University of Pennsylvania Press
An Illustrated Business History of the United States
- Richard Vague
- University of Pennsylvania Press
- Business & Economics > Infrastructure
From Benjamin Franklin, Robert Morris, and Cornelius Vanderbilt to Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, and Bill Gates, with Madam C.J. Walker, Martha Stewart, Jay-Z, and many more in-between, An Illustrated Business History of the United States is a sweeping, lively, and highly approachable history of American business from the nation's founding to the twenty-first century.
Author Richard Vague divides this history into fourteen eras, with each era featuring lists of the wealthiest individuals, notable inventions, and companies founded, and the largest organizations, banks, and insurance companies. Much of the data to create these lists stems from original research, and the book contains a wealth of primary business information extended and supplemented on a companion website.
Major themes include the nation's business beginnings in land and real estate, the pivotal place of financial institutions from the nation's earliest days, America's emergence as an industrial powerhouse, its outsized innovations, the dominance of its railways, automobiles, and other transportation companies, and the ever-changing role of government. As the book moves to the contemporary era, it highlights the merchandising of comfort, entertainment, and controversy, and looks to the future as it touches on the potential of emerging industries such as genetic engineering, green energy, and virtual reality.
A must read for any student of American history, the book covers both catastrophe and triumph, innovation and failure, and provides a crucial context for a better understanding of the nation's political and social history. Lushly illustrated with 300 color images, it is equally rewarding for those who want to read it cover to cover and those who prefer to focus on select eras of special interest.
Richard Vague is Secretary of Banking and Securities for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He is the author of A Brief History of Doom, a chronicle of major world financial crises, The Next Economic Disaster, a book with a new approach for predicting and preventing financial crises, and the Illustrated Business History of the United States.
Vague was co-founder, Chairman and CEO of Energy Plus, an electricity and natural gas supply company operating in states throughout the U.S. that was sold to NRG Energy in 2011, and also co-founder and CEO of two banks – First USA, a consumer-oriented bank which grew to be the largest Visa issuer in the industry and which was sold to Bank One in 1997, and Juniper, a bank that was the fastest growing credit card issuer in its era, which was sold to Barclays PLC in 2004.
Richard currently serves on the University of Pennsylvania Board of Trustees and the Penn Medicine Board of Trustees, and on a number of business boards. He is chair of FringeArts Philadelphia, chair of the University of Pennsylvania Press, and chair of the Innovation Advisory Board of the Abramson Cancer Center. He also serves on the Governing Board of the Institute for New Economic Thinking and the board of the Fund for the School District of Philadelphia. Vague is the founder of the economic data service Tychos (tychosgroup.org), which specializes in analyzing private debt trends and also the email newsletter service Delanceyplace.com, which focuses on non-fiction literature.
Source: Gabriel Investments
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