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In Dynasties, bestselling author and historian, David S. Landes, scrutinizes the powerful family businesses that rule both the financial and industrial sectors across Europe, Japan, and America to determine what factors can cause a dynasty to flourish or fail. Focusing on three areas-banking, automobiles, and raw materials-his cast of characters speaks to the power of the family enterprise: Ford, Rothschild, Morgan, Guggenheim, Rockefeller, and Toyoda are but a few whose histories contain all the drama and passion expected when exorbitant money, power, and kinship intersect. Drawing on his immense knowledge of economic history, Landes offers a new reading of the dynastic business plan of the last two centuries-with surprising recommendations for the coming one.
From the author of the New York Times bestseller The Wealth and Poverty of Nations, a fascinating look at the crossroads of kin and coin
David S. Landes has earned a reputation as a brilliant writer and iconoclast among economic historians. In his latest acclaimed work, he takes a revealing look at the quality that distinguishes a third of today's Fortune 500 companies: family ownership. From the banking fortunes of Rothschild and Morgan to the automobile empires of Ford and Toyota, Landes explores thirteen different dynasties, revealing what lay behind their successes-and how extravagance, bad behavior, and poor enterprise brought some of them to their knees. A colorful history that is full of surprising conclusions, Dynasties is an engrossing mix of ambition, eccentricity, and wealth.
David S. Landes is professor emeritus of history and economics at Harvard and author of the bestseller The Wealth and Poverty of Nations. His other books include Bankers and Pashas, The Unbound Prometheus, and Revolution in Time.
Dynasties is rich in anecdote and will bring pleasure to the many readers who admired Landes's last book. . . . It offers the same combination of shrewd insight and an engagingly conversational style. (Niall Ferguson, The New Republic)