With this magisterial study of American multinational enterprises, Mira Wilkins becomes the preeminent scholar in the all-important field of business history. A comprehensive work of prodigious research and erudition, her book gives us the history of American corporations abroad from 1914 to 1970. American multinational enterprise is not new. Over time, giant U.S. multinational corporations have crossed political boundaries, so much so that their activities now command worldwide attention.
Harvard Studies in Business History Series Editor Alfred D. Chandler, Jr., comments in his Introduction: “All scholars analyzing the experience of the multinational enterprise will have to rely heavily on the record Ms. Wilkins presents here. Her history must long remain a basic source for historians, economists, and political scientists who wish to explain the rise and continuing domination of large-scale business enterprises in modern market economies, to understand the growth and changes in international and national economies since World War I, and to study the interrelationships between national economic policies and priorities and a changing international economic order.”
This work is wholly self-contained and can be read without reference to its predecessor, The Emergence of Multinational Enterprise: American Business Abroad from the Colonial Era to 1914. Yet the volumes, together, form the first overall history of American business abroad from our earliest times to the late twentieth century.