by Alan Singer
To celebrate its 200th anniversary in 2011, Citibank published a book celebrating its history. Despite the book's heft, glossy photographs, and celebratory tone, Citibank and its forbearers definitely did not strive to make the world a better place.
SOURCE: NY Times
by William Dalrymple
The East India Company, a trading firm with its own army, was masterful at manipulating governments for its own profit. It’s the prototype for today’s multinationals.
by James W. Cortada
And what it can teach us about the longevity of corporations.
Corporations, it turns out, really are people. And that could be very bad news for the rest of us.
SOURCE: Economic Times
Safely guarded in an air-conditioned vault in Atlanta, Georgia, lies one of western society's most valuable artefacts. So valuable, that its owner could lose millions if anyone so much as got a look at it. That's what Coca-Cola would have us believe anyway , claiming the only original copy of the soft drink's top-secret recipe lies underneath its US headquarters. But one man is threatening to lift this veil of secrecy this week as he claims to publish a copy of the original formula in a new book. Historian Mark Pendergrast says the recipe was handed down through the family of Frank Robinson, the commercial partner of chemist John Pemberton, who first produced the drink in the summer of 1886.In the third edition of his book, For God, Country and Coca-Cola: The Definitive History of the Great American Soft Drink and the Company That Makes It', Pendergrast reproduces what he claims to be the same recipe that Pemberton devised over 125 years ago. Among the ingredients in the book are sugar, lime juice, nutmeg and coriander.
SOURCE: The Nation
Jon Wiener teaches US history at UC Irvine.Thanks to Steven Spielberg and his film Lincoln, we’ve been hit by a new wave of management wisdom supposedly gleaned from the film’s central character. Business Week ran a piece titled “Career Lessons from Spielberg’s Lincoln”; the New York Times called theirs “Lincoln’s School of Management.” Doris Kearns Goodwin, whose book on Lincoln and his cabinet, Team of Rivals, famously provided the basis for some of the movie, has been back on the “leadership advice” circuit.......[But] there are some key moments in Lincoln’s life that the management advice people have neglected. One came in his Second Inaugural, when he declared that, if the Civil War continued “until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword”—if that happened, he said, he would conclude that "the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether."
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