A remarkably concise, perspicacious introduction to the corporation’s past and future.


An incisive history of corporations coupled with a prognosis of their future.

According to authors Sarokin and Schulkin, corporations tend to be viewed contradictorily, both as catalysts of economic growth and ingenuity as well as corrupt drivers of inequality and wielders of undemocratic political influence. In order to properly understand the vices and virtues of corporations, the authors synoptically but rigorously reconstruct their long history, which dates back, at least in embryonic form, to the Roman Empire. However, the corporation as we now understand it, a “group of individuals acting as a single entity, and recognized as such under the law,” begins to emerge in 16th- and 17th-century Europe in the form of massive trading companies like the Dutch West India Company. Everything changed, though, when the United States was founded since its unique constitutional structure and entrepreneurial energy contributed to the explosive proliferation of the corporation through the 19th and 20th centuries. The authors deftly chronicle not only the evolving character of the American corporation, but also the nation’s shifting sentiments regarding it, including a thoughtful account of the regulatory backlash against the corporation during the Progressive Era and the tumultuous 1970s. Sarokin and Schulkin also furnish a convincing vision of the future corporation’s challenges, including globalization and the profound transformations wrought by the unstoppable march of technological innovation. Their prose is unfailingly lucid, and they avoid any peremptory dogmatism, carefully assessing the corporation’s pros and cons. “None of these institutions are perfectly angelic and none of them are unredeemably evil. Nor should we expect them to be. Corporations—like governments, like organized religion—are composed of human beings who bring to them all the promise and all the foibles that humanity possesses.” This is a timely contribution to an important issue, as philosophically attentive to the big picture as it is to the granular details of law and policy.

A remarkably concise, perspicacious introduction to the corporation’s past and future.

Pub Date: June 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5275-4868-8

Page Count: 180

Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing

Review Posted Online: Sept. 10, 2020

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...


Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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This moving, potent testament might have been titled “Black Lives Matter.” Or: “An American Tragedy.”

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The powerful story of a father’s past and a son’s future.

Atlantic senior writer Coates (The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons, and an Unlikely Road to Manhood, 2008) offers this eloquent memoir as a letter to his teenage son, bearing witness to his own experiences and conveying passionate hopes for his son’s life. “I am wounded,” he writes. “I am marked by old codes, which shielded me in one world and then chained me in the next.” Coates grew up in the tough neighborhood of West Baltimore, beaten into obedience by his father. “I was a capable boy, intelligent and well-liked,” he remembers, “but powerfully afraid.” His life changed dramatically at Howard University, where his father taught and from which several siblings graduated. Howard, he writes, “had always been one of the most critical gathering posts for black people.” He calls it The Mecca, and its faculty and his fellow students expanded his horizons, helping him to understand “that the black world was its own thing, more than a photo-negative of the people who believe they are white.” Coates refers repeatedly to whites’ insistence on their exclusive racial identity; he realizes now “that nothing so essentialist as race” divides people, but rather “the actual injury done by people intent on naming us, intent on believing that what they have named matters more than anything we could ever actually do.” After he married, the author’s world widened again in New York, and later in Paris, where he finally felt extricated from white America’s exploitative, consumerist dreams. He came to understand that “race” does not fully explain “the breach between the world and me,” yet race exerts a crucial force, and young blacks like his son are vulnerable and endangered by “majoritarian bandits.” Coates desperately wants his son to be able to live “apart from fear—even apart from me.”

This moving, potent testament might have been titled “Black Lives Matter.” Or: “An American Tragedy.”

Pub Date: July 8, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-8129-9354-7

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Spiegel & Grau

Review Posted Online: May 6, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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