“A LANDMARK OF THE AMERICAN INSTITUTIONALIST TRADITION”: BERLE AND MEANS’ THE MODERN CORPORATION AND PRIVATE PROPERTY
BERLE, Adolf A. and MEANS, Gardiner C. The Modern Corporation and Private Property. New York: Macmillan, 1933. Octavo, original burgundy cloth. $950.
Early issue, published only one year after the extremely rare first edition, of Berle and Means’ landmark study of the changed conception of the corporation in business history and its impact on capitalism.
In the early 1930s, Gardiner Means “was engaged by Adolf A. Berle for a project which was to become their magnum opus: The Modern Corporation and Private Property, (1932), a landmark of the American Institutionalist tradition. In it, they analyzed the emerging ‘new age’ of the bureaucratized corporation: with the growing division between ownership and management, the entrepreneurial spirit which had guided earlier corporate behavior was now replaced by a managerial class with the different incentives” (Fonseca & Ussher). This “seminal work established the accepted parameters of shareholder-stakeholder analysis” (Pierucci, et al.). “Intervening decades have not outmoded this extraordinary book… The issues posed by The Modern Corporation and Private Property are no less resonant and no less contemporary on that account. For as the title of the book made clear, this was not just an inquiry into economic philosophy. It was also, and perhaps more profoundly, an inquiry into economic philosophy… It questioned not only the practices of the great concentrate of economic power, but the very right of that concentrate to exist” (New York Review of Books). This work was first published by Commerce Clearing House in 1932.
Slight darkening to spine. A fine copy.