Economic History and Entrepreneurship

Authored by: Robert Whaples

Routledge Handbook of Modern Economic History

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  January  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415677042
eBook ISBN: 9780203075616
Adobe ISBN: 9781135121211


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Entrepreneurs have played a profound role in shaping and reshaping the economy and society – both historically and in the present. When USA Today celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary in 2007 by compiling a list of the 25 most influential people of the past quarter century, at the top of the list was an entrepreneur (Microsoft’s Bill Gates) and not far behind were six more well-known entrepreneurs (Oprah Winfrey, Google’s Sergey Brin and Larry Page, Starbucks’ Howard Schultz, Wal-Mart’s Sam Walton, and hip-hop impresario Russell Simmons). Likewise, since 1990, Time magazine has selected five entrepreneurs as Person of the Year – media magnate Ted Turner, Intel’s Andy Grove, ’s Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg. Despite this public acclaim, however, entrepreneurs are virtually absent from textbooks written by both economists and economic historians.

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