Cover image for United States business history, 1602-1988 : a chronology
United States business history, 1602-1988 : a chronology
Robinson, Richard, 1924-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Greenwood Press, 1990.
Physical Description:
xii, 643 pages ; 25 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HC103 .R595 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

On Order



This unique volume provides a survey of U.S. business history in a chronological framework. Designed as a basic chronology of representative events, the work covers the years from 1602 to 1988, presenting those events that pioneered trends and those that represented what was generally happening at a particular time. Richard Robinson has included minor details and incidents that are often missed in other histories of business and has arranged the descriptive historical data in a way that allows readers to draw their own conclusions about the trends and impact of American business.

Each chronological entry is divided into two sections. The first covers general events, describing the changes in lifestyles and living conditions that affected business and the marketplace. Economic conditions, government actions, educational developments, social indicators, union activities, and inventions are included here, as are certain articles and books that note the concerns of a particular time. The second section covers business events, charting the rise and fall of those enterprises engaged in producing goods or providing services. Small companies are featured alongside conglomerates, and wherever possible, the chronology focuses on the colorful individuals--the entrepreneurs, financiers, promoters, and others--who played such an important role in American business. With its chronological presentation, the book not only offers a clear picture of the development of U.S. business, but also a strong indication of how deeply it is interwoven in the fabric of society. It will be a valuable resource for courses in business history, sociology, and American history, and an important addition to both public and academic libraries.

Author Notes

RICHARD ROBINSON is Professor Emeritus at Portland State University. His present academic interests are Management, Managerial Planning, and Business History. He is currently working on a book entitled World Business History: A Chronology .

Reviews 1

Choice Review

A good chronology of business has been needed, and that fact may lead libraries to consider this one despite its flaws. Entries are run together in paragraphs that have no theme, no rhyme or reason. The reader can only assume that the events are arranged chronologically within the divisions of "General Events" and "Business Events." The criteria for the selection of events are intentionally left undefined to create, in the words of the compiler, a "higgledy-piggledy. . .kaleidoscope of business activities." Few specific dates are included and the entries consist of little snippets of unrelated and unexplained data. Since proper names are not highlighted and the material is not organized in any way, finding a particular item by using the index is very difficult: the index references indicate page numbers only. For example, finding the Hormel strike of 1985 was possible only by guessing that it was likely to be the last important event/page number involving Hormel. Future editions, which are very much needed, should develop a better format, include selection criteria, and improve the index. As it stands, for only the most comprehensive business collections. -I. I. Ringland, Rosary College

Table of Contents

Chronology Selected