American Enterprise: A History of Business in America by Andy Serwer, David Allison, Peter Liebhold, Nancy Davis,

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By Andy Serwer, David Allison, Peter Liebhold, Nancy Davis, Kathleen G. Franz

What does it suggest to be an American? What are American rules and values? American Enterprise, the spouse ebook to an immense exhibition on the Smithsonian’s nationwide Museum of yankee historical past, goals to reply to those questions about the yankee event via an exploration of its financial and advertisement background. It argues that through the intersection of capitalism and democracy, we will be able to see the place we as a kingdom have come from and the place we would be stepping into the future.

Richly illustrated with photographs of items from the museum’s collections, American firm includes a 1794 greenback coin, Alexander Graham Bell’s 1876 mobilephone, a brass money sign in from Marshall Fields, Sam Walton’s cap, and lots of different items and prone that experience formed American tradition. historic and modern ads also are featured, emphasizing the evolution of the connection among manufacturers and shoppers through the years. Interspersed within the ancient narrative are essays from today’s leaders—including Sheila Bair, Adam Davidson, invoice Ford, Sally Greenberg, Fisk Johnson, Hank Paulson, Richard Trumka, and Pat Woertz—that pose provocative questions about the nation of latest American enterprise and society. American Enterprise is a multi-faceted survey of the nation’s enterprise historical past and corresponding social results that's primary to an realizing of the lives of the yank humans, the heritage of the us, and the nation’s function in international affairs.

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Green River knife, 1840. A great admirer of English Sheffield cutlery, John Russell was determined to provide Americans with a knife of equal quality, and he did. Named after his factory on the Green River in Massachusetts, this all-purpose knife became the standard, and revered, frontier tool. Once in St. Paul, the women bargained with the local merchants for the goods, many of them from distant producers. Purchases included knives, tin containers, muskets, beads, kettles, and cloth. After a respite of three weeks at the end of summer, the carts loaded with goods began the long trek back to the Red River District.

One common approach is segmenting it around major military conflicts: the American Revolution, the Mexican War, the Civil War, the World Wars, and Vietnam. Yet, periodizing around wars obscures fundamental changes in business history. Taking a different approach, this book breaks American history into four eras that highlight changing patterns of business organization: a Merchant Era, 1770–1850s; a Corporate Era, 1860s–1930s; a Consumer Era, 1940s–1970s; and a Global Era, 1980s–Present. Certainly these are not fully distinct.

Although Wise didn’t invent the home selling strategy, she adapted it and tapped into a growing desire among married, middle-class women to contribute to the family income. Wise made selling fun and lucrative, and thus turned Tupperware into a household standard. Today the National Museum of American History preserves elements of this quintessential American story in both dozens of examples of early Tupperware and archival papers from both Tupper and Wise. It is but one example of how the institution is preserving, interpreting, and sharing the remarkable history of American Enterprise.

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