The 100 Most Significant Events in American Business
An Encyclopedia
by Quentin R. Skrabec, Jr.
May 2012, 323pp, 7x10
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-0-313-39862-9
$108, £84, 94€, A148
eBook Available: 978-0-313-39863-6
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

McDonald’s… Wal-Mart… Google. These all represent byproducts of important U.S. business milestones which have inspired unprecedented innovation, and whose ideology has resulted in the world’s most familiar brands. The resounding impact of American business has not only shifted how the world does business, but has changed the way we live.

This reference book details the top 100 groundbreaking events in the history of American business, featuring case studies of successful companies who challenged traditional operating paradigms, historical perspectives on labor laws, management practices, and economic climates, and an examination of the impact of these influences on today's business practices.

Throughout history, important commercial developments in the United States have made it possible for American companies to leverage tough economic conditions to survive—even thrive in a volatile marketplace. This reference book examines the top 100 groundbreaking events in the history of American business and illustrates their influence on the labor laws, business practices, and management methodologies of corporate America today.

The 100 Most Significant Events in American Business: An Encyclopedia depicts the chronological order of events contributing to the evolution of American business, with an emphasis on the commercial innovations of each period. The book explores the origins of successful brands, including Apple, Wal-Mart, and Heinz; demonstrates the successful collaboration between public and private sectors illustrated by the Erie Canal, Hoover Dam, and the interstate highway system; and depicts the commercial impact of major economic events from the Panic of 1857 to the Great Recession of 2010.


  • Chronology of key events in the history of American business from 1630 to the present
  • Helpful sidebars of the evolution of key terms used today
  • Comprehensive index includes category, company names, personal names, and cross references to other events
  • Suggestions for further reading for each article
  • 10 relevant charts and tables
  • Appendix of relevant sources
  • 80 key primary documents supporting major events in American business
Quentin R. Skrabec, Jr., PhD, is professor of business and operations management at the University of Findlay, OH. His published works include H. J. Heinz: A Biography; Henry Clay Frick: The Life of the Perfect Capitalist; and George Westinghouse: Gentle Genius.


2013 Notable Business Reference Source—RUSA/BRASS, December 18, 2013


"This volume will be of interest to just as wide a variety of libraries and patrons; public libraries, community colleges and other two-year programs, as well as universities and other larger institutions. The entries in this encyclopedia provide a starting point for each of the included events, but taken as a whole, they also paint a picture of business history."—Reference & User Services Quarterly, December 1, 2013

"An excellent addition for most undergraduate institutions, high school libraries and public libraries when it comes to research."—Reference Reviews, August 26, 2013

"Skrabec has produced an accessible reference work for American business history. Although based on stand-alone descriptions of historical events, it reads more like a single fascinating story with 100 short chapters. . . . This volume's concise treatment and chronological (rather than alphabetical) organization make it an excellent introduction to American business history."—Choice, November 1, 2012

"Skrabec’s writing is remarkably engaging and will be accessible even to high school students. This smart, efficient examination of pivotal events in U.S. business history is valuable as a stand-alone overview of American economic history and as a supplement to more traditional economic and business encyclopedias."—Library Journal, September 1, 2012
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