The business of America.

Document Viewer



Transcription of Annotations

Notes from front endpapers and half title page: "p. 18: Great wealth too easily acquired can be a very mixed blessing indeed". - Wampum: the corners of Wall and Broad. - Why do free markets work? - example: cod, Boston Common. - Leftist historians, p. 161. - Twin Towers, p. 91. - The Gold Standard, the ICC, p. 179. - Business of War: The history of American conflicts - who makes money? (p. 144). - Are business types honest / dishonest? - Jay Cooke invented War Bonds, p. 155. - Death of monopoly, p. 234. - ATT vs. MCI. - Steamboats - any relationship to air travel? (p. 80). - Vanderbilt: the public be damned, p. 96. - Interstate Highway System. - Bank of Italy became Bank of America. - The Cadillac. - Who invented the auto? - Geo. Selden, p. 101. - The sewing machine: Isaac Singer, p. 52." -- Notes from back flyleaf; "Sylvester Graham, p. 40. - Isaac Singer, p. 52. - Pete Cooper, p. 257. - Engine Charlie Wilson, p. 183. - 19th century: My great-great-great-grandfather exchanged 35 acres for horse and saddle - now downtown Nashville." -- Annotations by Brian Lamb in the margins and underlining of pertinent phrases throughout the book. - Examples: p. 19: "Only 500,000 pounds of cotton were spun into thread - all by hand - in 1765. Twenty years later 16 million pounds were spun, by machine, and the price of cotton cloth had dropped from the caviar range to the mere smoked salmon bracket." - p. 21: "But cotton made slavery hugely profitable, and the price of a prime field hand rose twentyfold between 1800 and the Civil War." -- p. 53: "The development of the sewing machine was thus one of the triumphs of the early industrial revolution, as important in its way as the railroad as an engine of wealth creation." - p. 60: "The good thing about a gold standard is that it makes inflation impossible, for if a country begins to create too much money, gold will begin to flow out of its treasury." - p. 79: "Webster argued that the federal government's right to regulate interstate commerce was total and exclusive and that therefore the monopoly was null and void, as were all other such laws." - p. 133; "In 1967 the top 200 nonfinancial companies held 41% of the country's business assets, such as buildings, machinery, and land. By 1988 they held only 32%, and that number has continued to drop in the years since." - p. 223: "Government turned down Morse's offer to sell them rights for $100,000." - p. 234: "But without competition to keep noses firmly applied to grindstones, all monopolies, whether owned by "the people" or owned by shareholders, tend to become fat, lazy, and uninnovative."


Gordon, John Steele, “The business of America. ,” One Book. One Author. One Hour., accessed July 20, 2018,


Dublin Core


The business of America.


Gordon, John Steele


Program air date: September 23, 2001


For more than ten years, John Steele Gordon has written the widely read The Business of America" column in American Heritage magazine. Marked by a combination of erudition, wit, and eloquence, Gordon's stories have celebrated the high points, and occasional low points, in the history of business in this country, from colonial days to the present. Now, the best of his mini-histories have been gathered in one volume. As much as each stands on its own, together they gain in significance as they go beyond mere business to present an intriguing lens on the broad sweep of American history."--BOOK JACKET.


"Business enterprises--United States--History."
"Businesspeople--United States--History."


Brian Lamb Booknotes Collection
Gift of Brian Lamb, 2011.


Walker & Company
George Mason University. Libraries. Special Collections & Archives


This work may be protected by copyright laws and is provided for educational and research purposes only. Any infringing use may be subject to disciplinary action and/or civil or criminal liability as provided by law. If you believe that you are the rights-holder and object to Mason’s use of this image, please contact