From its roots in 17th-century Britain to its modern incarnation in Enron and WorldCom, the modern corporation -- restless, autonomous, and self-perpetuating -- has gained potency. Designed to seek profit and power, the corporation has pursued both objectives with endless tenacity, steadily bending the framework of the law and incurring destruction in its path. Where did the corporation come from? How did it get so much power? What is its ultimate trajectory? Considering the importance of such questions, it is surprisingly difficult to find answers. Using cutting-edge research from academic historians, sociologists, political scientists, and legal scholars, ""Gangs of America attempts to answer these questions in a unique, riveting narrative. The book recounts the settlement of America by corporations, details the surprising impetus for the Revolutionary War, then traces the expansion of corporate rights onto the global stage -- culminating in an assessment of current struggles over such issues as media control and campaign finance reform. Part of the ""BK Currents series, the book promotes positive social change.
Brand: Berrett-Koehler Publishers
Used Book in Good Condition
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
As an attorney and former college agitator (long, long ago), I read with profound interest Ted Nace's "Gangs of America", which along the line of Howard Zinn's "People's History of the United States" challenges us to imagine an economic and legal universe other than the one we live in. Most Americans, and especially attorneys who are the high priests to the corporations, take it for granted (kind of like the inhabitants of the "Matrix") that multi-billion dollar corporations should enjoy and have always enjoyed preferential tax treatment, tort immunity, and government handouts by the gazoo.
What is valuable about such authors as Nace and Zinn is that they break free from the trap of blaming our current social and economic inequalities on a select group of evil men in the White House or Congress. While alternative historical analysis became an endangered species when Berlin Wall fell, the need for other voices did not go away. It is not enough to simply bash the current...
This interesting book traces the history and development of corporations from the time of Queen Elizabeth I to the present day. Much of the book focuses on little-known episodes in the corporate chronicle - the cruel Jamestown settlement in Virginia, for example, or the British East India Company's depredations in India. About midway through, the book shifts from such tales to a close examination of Supreme Court justices who tilted the playing field in favor of corporate power. Breezily written and accessible, this book puts a lengthy and complicated history easily within reach of ordinary readers. Its bias is clear - the subtitle leaves no doubt that author Ted Nace is a foe of corporate power - and the closer to the present the story comes, the more accusatory the author's conclusions may seem. Nonetheless, We find this is a worthwhile read for those who seek background information on the dark side of the American corporate success story.
If the hijacking of the 2000 presidential election by Stupid White Men incensed you, then take heed of the Smart White Men who have dealt a thousand blows to democracy over the past century. Ted Nace's "Gangs of America" is an intense history of corporate America's deliberate and relentless effort to empower itself aided by congressmen and judges entrenched in a sea of vested interests. In a Matrix-like prequel, Nace carefully chronologizes the efforts of corporations to gain freedoms and protections as "persons" at the very expense of the people the U.S. Constitution was designed to protect. Even the self-serving ACLU cannot see the "real slippery slope is the ever-increasing tendency to treat corporations as though they were human beings." Nace's witty and engaging tale compels the reader to follow the roller-coaster ride of corporate dominance which begins by going down the murky path by which the courts came to treat corporations as "persons." As the author of "Be...
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