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Dynasties: Fortune and Misfortune in the World's Great Family Bus

Dynasties: Fortune and Misfortune in the World's Great Family Businesses - David S. Landes

London: Viking, 2007, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Very Good Dust Wrapper. Edges of the textblock heavily tanned. Small scuff to the top edge of the upper board. Text complete, clean and tight.

Contains: Black & white photographs;

From the cover: “‘Why “dynasty"? Say the word and many images come to mind, exotic and dramatic, from the silken lineages of Chinese emperors to the soap-operatic oil magnates of the 1980s television series of the same name. As a historian, I was drawn into the drama of these stories and the larger-than-life quality of many of these competitors for wealth. But one need not be a Rothschild or a Toyoda to have use for the lessons in this book; the successes, failures and cautionary notes of these narratives can inform and inspire us all. We can learn a great deal about business from these dynasties; moreover, these are extraordinary men and women, full of eccentricities and genius, and they provide a wealth of entertaining tales.

Family-run companies have dominated business throughout the last two centuries, yet they have been little studied. In Dynasties, award-winning historian David Landes scrutinizes powerful family businesses in Europe, Japan and America to determine what factors can cause a dynasty to flourish or fail. Focusing on three areas — banking, cars and raw materials — he looks at astonishingly successful families such as the Fords, Rothschilds, Agnellis, Guggenheims, Rockefellers and Toyodas.

Drawing on his immense knowledge of economic history, Landes offers a startling new reading of dynastic business history. He provides fascinating insights into business legends, like the brilliant but difficult John D. Rockefeller, who became the richest man in the America of his day yet at the height of his wealth paid his children ten cents to sharpen pencils and wore his suits until they shone; or Henry Ford, maker of the famous Model T motor car, who shunned university graduates and put a former floor-sweeper in charge of his research lab, and who bought a railway, manufactured aeroplanes and designed a hospital.

The life stories of these remarkable individuals contain all the drama and passion expected when extraordinary money, power and kinship interconnect, and are essential reading for anyone with an interest in business and world history.”


Size: 9½" x 6¼". Black boards with Gilt titling to the Spine. [XX] 380 pages.
£7.50
Dynasties: Fortune and Misfortune in the World's Great Family Bus