Cover: The Emergence of Multinational Enterprise: American Business Abroad from the Colonial Era to 1914, from Harvard University PressCover: The Emergence of Multinational Enterprise in E-DITION

Harvard Studies in Business History 34

The Emergence of Multinational Enterprise

American Business Abroad from the Colonial Era to 1914

Product Details


$65.00 • €48.00

ISBN 9780674862999

Publication Date: 01/01/1970

Available from De Gruyter »

Media Requests:

Related Subjects

Harvard University Press has partnered with De Gruyter to make available for sale worldwide virtually all in-copyright HUP books that had become unavailable since their original publication. The 2,800 titles in the “e-ditions” program can be purchased individually as PDF eBooks or as hardcover reprint (“print-on-demand”) editions via the “Available from De Gruyter” link above. They are also available to institutions in ten separate subject-area packages that reflect the entire spectrum of the Press’s catalog. More about the E-ditions Program »

The first history of the involvement of American business in direct foreign investment explores a number of pertinent questions: What was the genesis of U.S. business interests in overseas markets? What perspectives guided the financial and social policies of the pioneering companies? In what way did the activities of American business abroad influence U.S. foreign policy?

Mira Wilkins recounts the histories of early foreign investment by such familiar companies as Singer, United Fruit, Edison, American Smelting and Refining, Anaconda Copper, American Telephone, and International Harvester. Refuting a well-established myth, she demonstrates that early American foreign investment was not confined to the extractive industries and utilities, and shows that, by 1914, while America remained a debtor nation in international accounts, a large number of U.S. multinational manufacturing corporations had already come into existence. Indeed, the percentage of the 1914 gross national product attributed to direct foreign investment equals that percentage of the 1966 GNP.

Though wholly self-contained, this works joins with the author’s subsequent volume, The Maturing of Multinational Enterprise: American Business Abroad from 1914 to 1970, to form the first overall history of American business abroad from our earliest times to the late twentieth century.

Recent News

Black lives matter. Black voices matter. A statement from HUP »

From Our Blog

A stack of five bestselling titles from Harvard University Press against a hot pink textured background

Ringing in the New Year with HUP’s 2022 Bestsellers

There is no better way for readers to usher in the new year than by looking back to the books that defined the last. For Harvard University Press, our 2022 bestsellers make up a diverse list of books across time and discipline.