Cover image for The change makers : from Carnegie to Gates : how the great entrepreneurs transformed ideas into industries
The change makers : from Carnegie to Gates : how the great entrepreneurs transformed ideas into industries
Klein, Maury, 1939-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Times Books, 2003.
Physical Description:
xvi, 318 pages ; 25 cm
Electronic Access:
Publisher description
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HB615 .K6137 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
HB615 .K6137 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



From one of America's foremost business historians, a penetrating and engaging look at the qualities that create great entrepreneurs
Entrepreneurs, even more than inventors, are essential to American business. While inventors produce ideas, entrepreneurs get things done, build the markets, make ideas reality. But what creative talents do the legendary American entrepreneurs share, and what can you learn from them about business success?
Using lively character sketches and company stories, University of Rhode Island professor and author Maury Klein analyzes how innovators from Andrew Carnegie to Bill Gates triumphed over perennial challenges in planning and strategy, production, operations, staffing, and sales-and transformed entire industries. Comparing the retailing acumen of J.C. Penney and Wal-Mart's Sam Walton, the organizational ingenuity of Standard Oil's John D. Rockefeller and Citigroup's Sandy Weill, the imaginative marketing of General Motors' Alfred Sloan and MacDonald's Ray Kroc, Klein reveals the art and archetype of successful entrepreneurialism. Moving beyond the cliches, he describes the artistry of great businessmen who build empires and dreams as well as fortunes.

Author Notes

A professor at the University of Rhode Island, Maury Klein is one of America's most acclaimed business historians. He is the author of twelve books

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Klein considers the question, What separates the great entrepreneurs from merely good business people? Business lies at the heart of American culture, with money as the driving force; yet the author's research discovers money to be a by-product of the efforts of 26 famous industrialists, from Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller, to Warren Buffet and Bill Gates. These entrepreneurs share similar characteristics, and we learn what they accomplished and how and what factors account for their achievement. Masterful creativity is found within each man, along with his own vision and style, and each often exhibits obsessions and flaws as great as the results achieved. They all show persistence and determination with a fierce drive to succeed; they all had supreme talent and a strong work ethic. All transcend conventional wisdom and while fearing failure they took risks and accepted consequences. This is an excellent book not only for aspiring entrepreneurs but also for those who teach and encourage them. --Mary Whaley

Publisher's Weekly Review

"The watershed event in American history is not the Civil War but the industrial and managerial revolutions of the late nineteenth century," asserts Klein (Rainbow's End) in this lively survey of influential American entrepreneurs. He draws a clear distinction between such entrepreneurs and robber barons who left no concrete legacy and argues that the 26 men (yes, they're all men) he celebrates here share more qualities with artists committed to creating something new and valuable than with their more notoriously rapacious commercial brethren. Drawing on a vast store of vivid anecdotes, Klein shows that his subjects, including Cornelius Vanderbilt and John Wanamaker, are as idiosyncratic as many artists are; a comparison of Klein's profiles of Henry Ford and Warren Buffett defines the extremes of the personality spectrum from curmudgeonly to congenial. The artistic metaphor fades, however, once the focus shifts to the men's work as innovative producers, organizers, merchandisers, technologists and investors: all were driven to succeed with a decidedly nonbohemian dedication to business epitomized by Thomas Edison, who worked so much that his daughter Madeleine first realized she had a father on a family trip to an ore-separating mine. While many of these men became philanthropists to share the fruits of their success, others kept their fortunes to themselves. For those following the Microsoft antitrust case, Klein's discussion of his entrepreneurs' run-ins with the law (nine have butted up against the Sherman Antitrust Act) will illuminate the shifts in government policy toward entrepreneurship and competition over the last century. (Apr. 11) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

What makes a successful entrepreneur? Business historian Klein (Rainbow's End) attempts to answer this question by examining the lives of 26 famous American business entrepreneurs ranging from Andrew Carnegie to Bill Gates. The author feels that the urge to create something new makes the work of entrepreneurs somewhat akin to an artistic act of creation. Not surprisingly, he offers no one magic ingredient for entrepreneurial success, though qualities like genius, determination, ambition, competitiveness, and abundant energy are all constants. And as with artists, one wonders at the fearful price some of these people paid; success may have brought wealth and fame but not necessarily happiness. IBM's Thomas J. Watson was practically a megalomaniac, for instance, and George Eastman of Eastman-Kodak committed suicide. These are all basically mini-portraits, and as the author admits, "one size doesn't fit all." Readers would be better served reading a solid biography of one of these individuals (e.g., Ron Chernow's Titan, the story of John D. Rockefeller) instead of this thin soup. An optional purchase.-Richard Drezen, Washington Post, New York City Bureau (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. xi
Prologue: Say Good-bye to the Robber Baronsp. 1
1 The Enigma of Creativityp. 19
2 Portrait of the Entrepreneur as a Young Manp. 45
3 The Entrepreneurs and Their Visionsp. 63
4 The Talents of the Great Entrepreneursp. 97
5 The Entrepreneurs at Workp. 123
6 Follies and Foiblesp. 151
7 All in the Familyp. 175
8 The Law and the Higher Lawp. 213
9 The Entrepreneurs Off Dutyp. 239
Epilogue: Profiling the Great Entrepreneurp. 267
Notesp. 273
Bibliographyp. 299
Acknowledgmentsp. 305
Indexp. 307