"You know,” a fellow graduate student in history whispered to me in 1989, “the D. stands for DuPont.” The remark came as we prepared for our general examinations by plowing through Alfred D. Chandler’s magnum opus, The Visible Hand (1977), a history of big business in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The conspiratorial subtext derived from Chandler’s focus on corporate middle managers, his interest in how late-...
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