Cover image for Contemporary American business leaders : a biographical dictionary
Contemporary American business leaders : a biographical dictionary
Ingham, John N.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Greenwood Press, [1990]

Physical Description:
xxxv, 788 pages ; 25 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HC102.5.A2 I534 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

On Order



. . . includes biographies of 116 people whom the authors considered historically most significant' from post-World War II to the present. Its introduction is an excellent review of significant happenings in U.S. business. The rise of automobile manufacturing, which spawned service stations that resulted in customized auto repair shops, is one example used to depict the evolution of U.S. industry. . . . This is an important purchase for any public, academic, or corporate library that has a clientele interested in current U.S. business. Reference Books Bulletin

This work contains 116 biographies of American business leaders since World War II. Because many of these are multiple biographies, the dictionary covers more than 150 individual business leaders. The book features full-scale biographies, running several pages in length, on leaders who were chosen specifically to illustrate major American business trends from 1945 to the present. A detailed introductory essay places these business leaders within the context of the most important business trends of the time, providing the reader with an in-depth, incisive view of the evolution of American business during a period of critical transformation. The dictionary also includes a number of female and black business leaders, thereby charting their contributions to American business during a time when the civil rights crusade and the drive for women's rights opened up increasing opportunities for those groups.

Each biography in this collection is followed by a detailed bibliography. The backmatter includes a number of appendices that allow the reader to pursue biographies of business leaders according to industry, company, location of business operations, and birthplace, along with listings of black and women business leaders. This volume would make a valuable addition to any university or public library collection, and it would be of great use to anyone interested in business history or management.

Author Notes

JOHN N. INGHAM is a Professor of History at the University of Toronto. A prolific author, he has written a score of scholarly articles and book reviews, as well as serving as an editor for two anthologies. He is the author of two books, the Biographical Dictionary of American Business Leaders (a four-volume set) and Iron Barons: A Social Analysis of the American Elite, 1987-1965 (Greenwood Press 1983 and 1978).

LYNNE B. FELDMAN is a freelance researcher and editor. Previously, she worked for the Gage Publishing Company as an editor.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Widely held sources such as Marquis's Who's Who in Finance and Industry and Wilson's Biography Index provide ample access to basic biographical information on the 150 American business leaders treated in this tome, but they lack this reference's encyclopedic overview of the transformation of American business since World War II. The 116 biographies (some are family biographies and cover more than one person) describe the careers of movers and shakers selected to illustrate major trends such as the emphasis on marketing, the growth of malls, and the ``paper entrepreneurship'' of the 1980s. The alphabetically arranged entries range in length from several to about 13 pages and conclude with relatively current bibliographies. Appendixes group individuals by industry, company, place of business, place of birth, and list blacks (7) and women (12). The legions of undergraduate business students will find this contemporary-focus reference a good companion to Ingham's Biographical Dictionary of American Business Leaders ( LJ 6/15/83) .--James R. Kuhlman, Univ. of Georgia Lib., Athens (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Ingham has prepared a companion to his four-volume set, Biographical Dictionary of American Business Leaders (CH, Feb'84), which covered more than 1,000 leaders of the last 200 years. The new ("contemporary") volume focuses on business leaders of the past 40 years selected for their exemplification of important trends. Therefore the sketches stress the individuals' contributions rather than their lives. The introduction provides a capsule summary of the development of American industry. This sets the scene for the selection of business leaders. Entries provide substantial information on the subjects' business background and activities in an easy-to-read style. Each entry provides a bibliography of readily available publications (usually articles) by and about the subject. As in the four-volume set, the apppendixes list business leaders by company and place as well as providing lists of women and black leaders. There is also a general subject index which permits retrieval of people and associations mentioned in the biographical entries. Errors in alphabetization of foreign company names, a criticism of the four-volume set, is not a problem here: hardly any foreign names are included. The chain La Petite Boulangerie is indexed under "La," but it is an American based subsidiary of Mrs. Fields and most American users of this volume would be inclined to look under "La." Recommended for business collections at all levels. -A. Maio, University of Hartford

Table of Contents

Contemporary American Business Leaders
Appendix I American Business Leaders According to Industry
Appendix II American Business Leaders According to Company
Appendix III American Business Leaders by Place of Business
Appendix IV American Business Leaders by Place of Birth
Appendix V Black and Women Amerian Business Leaders