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Masters of Enterprise by H.W. Brands

Masters of Enterprise

American Business History and the People Who Made It

by H.W. Brands

Title Details

Audio Original
Running Time
8 Hrs. 30 Min.
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Since the formation of the American Republic the principles of free enterprise and equal opportunity have been at the very core of economic philosophy. During the revolution, colonists fought not only for intangibles like “liberty” and “justice,” but also for the promises of a free market that provided everyone with the opportunity to pursue economic advancement regardless of social position and unsubjugated to a crown. America quickly became a society in which an individual’s success would be measured not by birthright, but rather by determination. In this atmosphere, men and women have sought fortune limited only by their own abilities, their willingness to work hard, and their courage in the face of unknown dangers. In this course, we’ll examine the lives and careers of successful men and women who seized the opportunities offered by the vibrant and open economy that has ensued. We’ll examine how each of these individuals found the necessary resources—both economic and personal—to achieve greatness in the business arena. In doing so, we hope not only to arrive at a better understanding of American business history in general, but also to commune with its greatest visionaries—its Masters of Enterprise.

An expert chronicler of the American experience, H.W. Brands is Distinguished Professor of History at Texas A&M University. Among other topics, he has written books about the California gold rush, America in the 1890s, President Woodrow Wilson, and the Cold War. His biographies of Teddy Roosevelt, T.R.: The Last Romantic, and Benjamin Franklin, The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin (a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize), both won widespread critical acclaim and were best-sellers.

Lecture 1 The Business of America

Lecture 2 John Jacob Astor: From Furs to Real Estate

Lecture 3 Cyrus McCormick: The Business of Agriculture

Lecture 4 Cornelius Vanderbilt and Jay Gould: Speculating on America

Lecture 5 Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller: An Obsession for Efficiency

Lecture 6 J.P. Morgan: The Triumph of the Money Man

Lecture 7 Henry Ford and Alfred P. Sloan: Capturing the Dream

Lecture 8 Walt Disney: The Business of Fantasy

Lecture 9 Robert Woodruff: As American as Coke

Lecture 10 Ray Kroc: The Industrialization of Eating

Lecture 11 Sam Walton: Will the Real Uncle Sam Please Stand Up?

Lecture 12 Mary Kay Ash: What Do Women Want?

Lecture 13 Andrew Grove and Bill Gates: Intel (and Microsoft) Inside

Lecture 14 The Past and Future of American Business

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