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Organizing America: Wealth, Power, and the Origins of Corporate Capitalism. By Charles Perrow. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2002. Pp. ix, 259. $34.95


  • Best, Michael H.


Charles Perrow is interested in big organizations and how they shape communities, the distribution of wealth, power and income, and working lives. Today, organizations with over 500 employees employ more than half the working population in the United States. There were no such organizations in 1800. Referring to William Roy (Socializing Capital: The Rise of Large Industrial Corporations in America. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1997) and Naomi Lamoreaux (The Great Merger Movement in American Business, 1895–1904. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1985) Perrow argues that corporate capitalism was entrenched in five short years (1898–1903) during which more than half the book value of all manufacturing capital was incorporated. The firms were made giant by consolidating the assets of several firms in the same industry.

Suggested Citation

  • Best, Michael H., 2003. "Organizing America: Wealth, Power, and the Origins of Corporate Capitalism. By Charles Perrow. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2002. Pp. ix, 259. $34.95," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 63(1), pages 283-285, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:63:y:2003:i:01:p:283-285_46

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