Bulls, Bears, Boom, and Bust
A Historical Encyclopedia of American Business Concepts
by John Dobson
October 2006, 423pp, 7 x 10
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-85109-553-7
$96, £74, 84€, A132
Please contact your preferred distributor for pricing.
eBook Available: 978-1-85109-558-2
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Like any other specialized field of endeavor, the world of business in the United States has a language all its own. Understanding those terms and names (idioms and acronyms, companies and institutions, famous figures and events, techniques and policies) is key to grasping both the historical sweep and the current moment of American enterprise.

An intriguing collection of insider information on little known aspects of commonly used business techniques, instruments, policies, and personalities that influenced the rise of the world's most successful business system.

Bulls, Bears, Boom, and Bust: A Historical Encyclopedia of American Business Concepts translates the language of business in an engaging, compelling way. From mercantilism to microchips, indentured servants to venture capitalists, William Penn to Bill Gates, this one-of-a-kind lexicon provides general readers with an accessible introduction to the vernacular of the American business community, while providing business professionals with a handy resource for quick authoritative answers.

Divided into five chronological sections, Bulls, Bears, Boom, and Bust ranges from colonial times to the present, charting the dramatic history of business innovations and institutions in the United States. It contains over 200 topical entries that define business-related terms and explain their relevance to American business and economic history. In addition, each section provides information about the people behind the signature developments in American business (innovative thinkers and entrepreneurs, namesakes of familiar companies, key political figures).


  • Over 350 entries on the techniques, instruments, policies, and personalities that influenced the rise of the world’s most successful business system
  • Each section begins with a historical review of the terms it contains, providing context for the major events and innovations that are covered
  • Over 150 biographical entries highlighting the contributions of individual Americans who influenced business developments
  • Bibliographic references at the end of each entry
John Dobson is professor of history at Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK. His published works include ABC-CLIO's Belligerents, Brinksmanship, and the Big Stick: The History of the Terms of American Diplomacy.


"This fascinating book offers a new spin on business-history encyclopedias. ... Recommended for business-history collections in public and academic libraries."—Booklist, March 1, 2007

"This work provides an interesting, useful collection of material on business concepts and personalities that spans U.S. history. ... Recommended. Academic, public, and high school collections; lower-/upper-level undertraduates, and general readers."—Choice, 00/00/00

"It would be suitable as a supplementary reference for large public libraries and undergraduate collections."—Journal of Business & Finance Librarianship, November 1, 2007

"Ideal for students and general readers, the Encyclopedia is recommended for all collections."—Reference & User Services Quarterly, December 1, 2007

"...it will be useful to American libraries, or to others with collections relating to American business, economics, and history."—Reference Reviews, September 1, 2008
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