Our new book is now available on Amazon for $19.95 for the paperback and $9.95 for Kindle version.  There is no other book quite like it, full of diverse, short, unknown tales of business adventures (and misadventures).  The many color pictures that go with the book are available as a free download here

The book makes a great holiday gift for readers of all ages!

Also note that the American Business History Center and Gary Hoover are offering the first-ever online zoom course in American Business History, starting January 11, with an early registration discount.  Another good holiday gift!

Here is the description of the new book from the Amazon page:

This collection of business stories from the American Business History Center tells the sagas of fascinating businesses, the stories of leaders and companies, success and failure.  Every history-lover, business student, corporate executive, and entrepreneur can learn from these adventures in business.

Do you know these stories?

  • How RCA lost its position as the world’s top consumer electronics company.
  • CVS, one of the five biggest US companies, began as a shoe company.
  • The story of two men, both named Henry, who developed the state of Florida.
  • Jeep has had at least five parent companies, yet today is stronger than ever.
  • The story of the rise and fall of International Harvester and Allis-Chalmers.
  • When Amazon bought M-G-M, they didn’t get the best classic films.
  • Who the Fox Network, Fox News, and Fox Studios are named after.
  • How Polident financed the Woodstock music festival.

The book contains stories about companies as diverse as Beatrice Foods, Best Western, Brunswick, General Foods, M-G-M, Nabisco, Otis elevators, PepsiCo, Sherwin-Williams, Smucker’s, Target, and Wurlitzer.  Also described are great business battles in watchmaking, bicycles, sporting goods, aspirin, and gas stations. 

The book includes stories of some interesting characters, from Charles Schwab the steel maker who built the biggest house in Manhattan to the Van Sweringens who developed much of Cleveland.  Also included are the man who invented modern sales techniques, the man who invented container shipping, and Powel Crosley, who owned the most powerful radio station in America (WLW), introduced night baseball to the major leagues, and tried to convince Americans to drive small cars years before other automakers.

What our readers say:

“Gary is the best kind of scholar, understanding business history as a serial entrepreneur himself.  With a lively exposition, it’s a must-read collection of fascinating stories.”

Todd E. Petzel, Chief Economist and Co-Chief Investment Officer, Offit Capital

“Gary is a great student of business. A fun bedtime read!”

Ryan Mannion, Co-founder of BookThinkers

“Gary brings an analytical perspective in viewing industries – their birth, growth, transformation, and the lessons of their decline and reformation – without buzzwords.”   

Thomas M. Bodenberg

“Gary Hoover is one of the most insightful business thinkers I know.  He is also a gifted writer. His ability to understand the critical success factors of a business and communicate them in a straight-forward but entertaining manner, is a skill that animates the stories in this book.”

Kevin Williams, Senior Lecturer, McCombs School of Business, The University of Texas at Austin

“I love reading Gary Hoover’s research on the history of American Businesses. This book will be taken off the shelf time and time again for referencing, learning, appreciating, and entertaining.”

Aaron Considine

“Today theories of strategy, finance, and even economics itself, are in flux. Businesspeople can find more solid guidance in the study of business history. Gary Hoover is an entrepreneur, educator, bookworm, and business historian. His essays are a delight.”

Fred Phillips, Editor-in-Chief Emeritus, Technological Forecasting & Social Change

About the Author

Gary Hoover is a lifelong student of business history and serial entrepreneur.  He and friends founded the first chain of giant bookstores, Bookstop, sold to Barnes & Noble, then the Hoovers business information service, sold to Dun & Bradstreet.  Gary was the first Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin.  He has spoken about business success to corporate executives and entrepreneurs worldwide.  Gary has a degree in economics from the University of Chicago and lives in Texas with 60,000 books.

We thank all of our fans, readers, and donors for your generous support.

American Business History Center

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