illustrated business history of the united states -- 5/27/21

I am thrilled to be able to announce the publication of my newest book, An Illustrated Business History of the United States. It covers the years from 1748 to 2015, and includes personalities from Benjamin Franklin, Robert Morris, and Cornelius Vanderbilt to Steve Jobs and Oprah Winfrey, with Madam C.J. Walker, Martha Stewart, Jay-Z, and many more in-between.

For those of you with an interest in American history, I would be humbled and grateful if you would purchase this new book. As with our other efforts, all profits go to charity. It is available on Amazon and on the website of the University of Pennsylvania Press.

The book divides this history into fourteen eras, with each era featuring lists of the wealthiest individuals, notable inventions, 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.

Lushly illustrated with 300 color images, 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. 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.

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.

I hope you will agree this is 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.



Richard Vague


An Illustrated Business History of the United States


University of Pennsylvania Press


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