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A History of the Legendary German Firm
Harold James

Book Description | Table of Contents
Introduction [in PDF format]


"Harold James's comprehensive business history of the steel concern fills an important gap in the literature. . . . This book is an invaluable and thorough business history of the Krupp concern and an essential reference for any future history."--Hermione Giffard, Technology & Culture

Review of German edition: "This is a masterfully told and unprejudiced book about a traditional enterprise which despite many crises made its way into the twenty-first century."--Joachim Käppner, Süddeutsche Zeitung


"Harold James has written a concise yet compulsively readable history of what was once the most notorious name in German industrial history. Elegantly weaving together economic, political, and cultural history, he shows how Krupp rose to a position of dominance in the Central European arms industry thanks to the extraordinary work ethic of the founder's son and the family's early ability to tap informal credit networks, but, above all, the almost symbiotic relationship between the company and the German state, its biggest customer. James shows that Krupp was not a pure arms company. Nor was it exceptional among big firms in its complicity with the criminal Nazi regime. Yet at the heart of his story is a Faustian pact between an entrepreneurial family and a power-hungry polity."--Niall Ferguson, Harvard University

"More than a biography of a remarkable family, this fast-paced narrative, studded with vivid portraits and shrewd judgments, follows a firm that was once the largest in Europe as it navigated the existential crises of wars, inflations, depressions, dictatorships, and globalizations. Illuminating a corporate culture famous for its technological and marketing innovations, its paternalism and commitment to tradition, and its hostility to banks and indifference to profits, James offers us a deeper understanding of what makes German--and European--capitalism so different from our own."--Margaret Lavinia Anderson, University of California, Berkeley

"This is a clear and well-informed history of one of the most important industrial firms in Europe's most important industrial economy. Harold James situates the story of Krupp within the main strands of the history of modern Germany, modern industrial capitalism, and globalization. This is also a fascinating story about a family and their business."--Richard Bessel, author of Germany 1945: From War to Peace

"Drawing on his deep knowledge of German economic and political history, Harold James has written an important book of impressive range and scope that focuses not merely on the Krupp family but also on the role of technological change, the company's relationships with banks and governments, and the effects of international competition and war."--V. R. Berghahn, Columbia University

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File created: 4/24/2017

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