A Brief History of Entrepreneurship: The Pioneers, Profiteers, and Racketeers Who Shaped Our World

Hardcover | October 11, 2016

byJoe Carlen

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A Brief History of Entrepreneurship charts how the pursuit of profit by private individuals has been a prime mover in revolutionizing civilization. Entrepreneurs often butt up against processes, technologies, social conventions, and even laws. So they circumvent, innovate, and violate to obtain what they want. This creative destruction has brought about overland and overseas trade, colonization, and a host of revolutionary technologies-from caffeinated beverages to the personal computer-that have transformed society.

Consulting rich archival sources, including some that have never before been translated, Carlen maps the course of human history through nine episodes when entrepreneurship reshaped our world. Highlighting the most colorful characters of each era, he discusses Mesopotamian merchants' creation of the urban market economy; Phoenician merchant-sailors intercontinental trade, which came to connect Africa, Asia, and Europe; Chinese tea traders' invention of paper money; the colonization of the Americas; and the current "flattening" of the world's economic playing field.

Yet the pursuit of profit hasn't always moved us forward. From slavery to organized crime, Carlen explores how entrepreneurship can sometimes work at the expense of others. He also discusses the new entrepreneurs who, through the nascent space tourism industry, are leading humanity to a multiplanetary future. By exploring all sides of this legacy, Carlen brings much-needed detail to the role of entrepreneurship in revolutionizing civilization.

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From the Publisher

A Brief History of Entrepreneurship charts how the pursuit of profit by private individuals has been a prime mover in revolutionizing civilization. Entrepreneurs often butt up against processes, technologies, social conventions, and even laws. So they circumvent, innovate, and violate to obtain what they want. This creative destructio...

Joe Carlen is the cofounder of Know Thy Market, LLC, and a certified valuation analyst. He is the author of The Einstein of Money: The Life and Timeless Financial Wisdom of Benjamin Graham (2012).

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Kobo ebook|Jul 17 2012

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:256 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.98 inPublished:October 11, 2016Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231173040

ISBN - 13:9780231173049

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. "One Shekel of Your Private Silver"2. The Pirates of Phoenicia3. The Reluctant Romans4. An Enterprising Faith5. Flying Money and Capitalist Monks6. Western Europe and a "New World" of Profit7. Captains of the Revolution8. The Land of (Entrepreneurial) Opportunity9. Flattening the World and Colonizing SpaceConclusionNotesAcknowledgmentsIndex

Editorial Reviews

A Brief History of Entrepreneurship is an unbelievably enthralling and inspirational book, especially so for enthusiasts, practitioners and students of entrepreneurship and business.