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OnesThe book starts to fall flat as we get closer to present day where there themes stories were almost scatterbrained and shoehorned in but given how much this history book drew me in for the first 75% I still give it 5 stars wish I had this in school to supplement my understanding of events Nice try but no The book is well intentioned but in my opinion fails to deliver on its promise The author is well read and seems to come from a venture background He has written a 400 year history of American capitalism that seems somewhat effective as an extended personal statement of the author s views on the American experience with the market I would have liked the book if it had been good history along with being a heartfelt personal reflection on US business history Every one of the chapters in the book while containing nuggets of insight come across as highly oversimplified EFFORTS TO CONDENSE A LOTS OF MATERIAL INTO A to condense a lots of material into a punchline filled statement of sorts The trouble is that the general punchlines presented here are well known and covered much effectively in the materials that Srinivasan draws from The condensation process needed to transform 400 Years Into 500 Flowing Pages into 500 flowing pages that much of the nuance gets lost along the wayThere are some nice touches to the book For example looking at the voyage of the Mayflower from the perspective of venture funding is nice and insightful Throughout the book there are also lots of little vignettes that are worth noting whether they be details of John Brown s career to the ways in which Britain adapted to the loss of Souther cotton during the US Civil War Most of this material is well known and not particularly new to anyone who does their own reading on US economic history He covers the Robber Barons and brings up the oddities of some of the characters such as Andrew Carnegie The role of the Civil War in providing initial experiences to many of the stars of the Guilded Age is nicely done howeverIt is clear that Srinivasan has a story to tell and also that he is a fan of capitalism That is certainly OK as a perspective unless one goes overboard in motivating Guilded Age history as a prelude for the Internet bubble of the 1990s which takes one into a facile sort of looking backwards But the story being told on business government relations is not clear either If one is singing the praises of markets then US history is almost exclusively filled with examples where government involvement has been crucial to the point *of arguing for a mixed model This comes out later in book when * arguing for a mixed model This comes out later in book when Srinivasan notes the role of the Chinese government in the emergence of the Chinese economy after Deng s reforms after 1978 Srinivasan also notes the mixed US model in discussing thisI guess my problem is that the book is written very confidently and it is clear that the author has a perspective although it is seldom clear what the perspective is as it umps around from chapter to chapter If I add to this my own perspective that the history here is fascinating but far complex then suggested in the book then my trouble with the book is crystallized Along this line there are several chapters that have entirely too much glossing over of detail for example the entire period from WW1 up through the start of the Cold WarI did not see a lot of straight errrors in the book I ust did not get that much out of it If one does not know much of the history this book would be an engaging introduction I do not see what the author adds on these topics over other well known sources Even towards the end the book reads like he is taking his narrative largely from Michael Lewis on Netscape That is OK for an article but it wears thin over 500 page. ; how the gunmaker Remington reinvented itself in the postwar years to sell typewriters; how the inner workings of the Mafia mirrored the trend of consolidation and regulation in traditional business; and how a 1950s infrastructure bill triggered a series of events that produced one of America's most enduring brands KFC Reliving the heady early days of Silicon Valley we are reminded that the start up is an idea as old as America itselfEntertaining eye opening and sweeping in its reach Americana is an exhilarating new work of narrative histo.
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t s all about money This is the story of how the uest for personal wealth shaped America It s partly a story of innovation but mostly about how those innovations were capitalized to make as much money from them as possible Benefits to society were sometimes incidental but the driving force was a capitalist trying to make a preferably uick buck Often this meant finding ways to cut out the original inventors There are few stunning insights or surprising revelations and no value udgments or projections about the future but it s an informative overview 3 12 stars half a star taken away for my main criticism the book is so big picture the pixels don t reveal anything This is a positive review Bhu Srinivasan is a great writer and this is a great read 500 pages went like a good mystery novel Unfortunately the plot doesn t really make sense in the end because it s really Thief (Sevy,
just a series of short stories like Kennedy s Profiles in Courage what Capitalism in America did right and wrong to get us to where we are today Srinivasan turns up a lot of interesting facts in his stories but he misses a lot of basic stories on the way Sometimes he gets it wrong The Valachi Papers is not perhaps the best historicist resource on how the mob worked in the 40 s and 50 s much less after that Where is Gbl Wrmg Not economic enough The youngsters get a mention during the sixties and nineties but only a sentence or two Nike gets a mention for creating the concept of Chinaust kidding but where is the slavery in clothes fishing maritime etc He does see the slavery in the pre war South and the subtle discrimination of Levittown but misses the Black Lives Matter follow on both as an event as as a fact Having ust seen There Will Be Blood has probably made me aundiced even as he devotes several pages to The Jungle and its conseuences for the Progressives and Teddy Roosevelt For a great but fictional big picture view of American Capitalism see Barkskins by Annie Proulx Just as high level but a lot revealing maybe because she doesn t need to be constrained by explaining history ust by telling stories Still a great read A wonderful book The author reviews the history of capitalism within the history of the US focusing a lot on technological advances that spurred the advance of our economy One recurrent theme is that our capitalism is not the unfettered kind that laissez faire right wing pundits like to claim it is but that the interplay between government and private industry has led to most of our progressAlthough much of this story is probably familiar territory to most readers the author adds fresh perspectives to material that I found refreshing The American capitalism in Global Economy Adam Smith s masterpiece of economic analysis The Wealth of Nations was symbolic in that its publication date of 1776 coincided with the Declaration of American Independence Smith examined simple economic concepts in which that individuals are capable of setting and regulating prices for their own goods and services He summarized capitalism in terms of common sense as how markets move why they move and how markets move why they move and variables affect the outcomes He supported free trade and small busi This book is an excellent overview of 400 years of American capitalism with tremendous insights It s a uick read though roughly 500 pages The stories are tight Not too much detail but enough to paint the picture and tie together the narratives There are profound parallels to our modern world and we all might hit pause on the iPhone and crack a history book This one doesn t disappoint I am intrigued by the idea of teaching history using silos or areas of interest such as sciencemedicine culture or sports as exampl. From the days of the Mayflower and the Virginia Company America has been a place for people to dream invent build tinker and bet the farm in pursuit of a better life Americana takes us on a four hundred year ourney of this spirit of innovation and ambition through a series of Next Big Things the inventions techniues and industries that drove American history forward from the telegraph the railroad guns radio and banking to flight suburbia and sneakers culminating with the Internet and mobile technology at the turn of the twenty first centu. Es This would be a main text for the BUSINESSECONOMICS SILO BHU SRINIVASAN FOLLOWS AMERICAN BUSINESS STARTING WITH
silo Bhu Srinivasan follows American business starting with the original *colonies were structured and financed I found out about this book from an episode of the *
were structured and financed I found out about this book from an episode of the Backstory on the Civil War Some of the interesting things I found out from this bookHow important the California and Alaska gold rushes were to the finances of the US GovernmentHow several of the Confederate states came to the valuation of slaves cited in their Articles of Secession How venture capital got started and what role it played getting high tech companies off the groundThe different business models used by inventors such as Samuel Morse and Thomas EdisonThe history of leveraged buyouts I listened to the first part of the book on audio I did not care for the reader To my ear he had an attitude As for hundreds of years the USA have been the center of innovation part of this book can be called the history of next big things The Americana painted a freat perspective on the development of the most powerful economy in history From Christopher Columb trough Andrew Carnegie Rockefeller to Steve Jobs and Marc Andressen Many interesting stories about beginnings of US Steel IBM Ford GE General Motors NBC Netscape AOL Intel Apple Microsoft Wells Fargo to name a few All mixed with sociological and political context Audible version took 20 hours but even 50 wouldn t be a problem A couple of conclusions1 Steamship railroad telegraph oil once they all were the next big thing2 Today people who expect huge profits can invest in startups Hundreds of years ago people invested in ships which were supposed to discover lands which will bring huge profits3 Serial entrepreneurs existed hundreds of years ago One of them once invented the machine which boosts the efficiency of cotton production As he couldn t defend his invention from copycats he switched to the weapon market4 These days stories about startups and their rollercoastershustle are very common That was exactly how Samuel Morse created the US telegraph There were days when he had nothing was exactly how Samuel Morse created the US telegraph There were days when he had nothing eat5 During the goldRush some American icons were born Like eans gold hunters needed to wear something or the bank Wells Fargo6 The value of 4 million slaves was higher than the value of the gold mined in California for 10 years Families without slaves were considered as the lowest social class People who tried to rescue slaves were considered as a terrorist7 What Pultizer made with one of his newspapers was the pure blue ocean strategy He removed factors that some target group didn t need detailed political law news added things which they needed lighter articles about lighter topics and lowered prices Even without a hypothesis this book clearly tells us the story of the march of American capitalism from the Mayflower to the Occupy mvementAmericana enumerates the different factors geographical cutural and historical that has created the progress of this uniue economyIt covers topics diverse as tobacco and cotton to railoads newspapers film suburbia computers and mobile phones giving us a glimpse of the American free enterprise After reading this book I am left with wanting to read a similar one for American industry It s possibly ust my finance background but I loved this book The book incompletely of course recounts American history through the eyes of business It provided a new point of view and associated motivations that weren t traditionally told on many events throughout history I enjoyed how it told a number of entrepreneurial stories that I hadn t previously heard especially in the gilded age and prior I look forward to reading further books to learn about the interesting. Ry The result is a thrilling alternative history of modern America that reframes events trends and people we thought we knew through the prism of the value that for better or for worse this nation holds dearest capitalismIn a winning accessible style Bhu Srinivasan boldly takes on four centuries of American enterprise revealing the unexpected connections that link them We learn how Andrew Carnegie's early ob as a telegraph messenger boy paved the way for his leadership of the steel empire that would make him one of the nation's richest men. ,