Skip to main content

Puritans as Entrepreneurs?

Business and economic historians might be interested in Nick Bunker's Making Haste from Babylon: The Mayflower Pilgrims and Their World, A New History (Random House, April, 2010).  It is reviewed, for example, in the Washington Post by Yale's John Demos, at Salon.com, and in this Sunday's New York Times Book Review by Russell Shorto (author of The Island at the Center of the World). A Financial Times review of the British edition is also available. Bunker, formerly an investment banker, offers a wide-ranging view of the English settlers as concerned not only with God, but also with politics and profit. In the words of the FT reviewer:
The religious zeal of the Separatists, which has long been seen as the driving force behind the foundation of New England, is revealed by Bunker to be as much a tool for gaining financial backing as the following of a call from a higher being. Indeed the Pilgrims often appear to have been guided as much by the Invisible Hand of the market as by that of Jehovah.
Among scholars of the period, the view of the Pilgrims as complex people with complex motives is not entirely new, but, as John Demos writes, "Bunker does far better than any predecessor at recreating the entire climate in which Pilgrim thought and action emerged. "
    Readers can find excerpts from the book on the NYTimes page, as well as on the Random House site

Popular posts from this blog

Call for Papers: #BHC2022MexicoCity

Business History in Times of Disruption: Embracing Complexity and Diversity Annual Meeting of the Business History Conference Sheraton Mexico City María Isabel Hotel Ciudad de México, México April 7-9, 2022 [ bookmark the CFP ] The Covid-19 crisis arrived with little warning, disrupting global business and trade. Industries as different as tourism, retail, and manufacturing were plunged into disarray by travel restrictions, broken supply chains, and quarantines. The pandemic also underscored the growing dangers posed by economic inequality and environmental degradation, hinting at a more tumultuous future. We have, it seems, entered into a new age of uncertainty. Informed by these developments, the 2022 Business History Conference will explore the diverse ways that entrepreneurs, firms, and organizations coped with complexity, uncertainty, and disruption over the long run. The Program Committee welcomes individual papers and session proposals that explore this theme. Submissions can a

Call for Submissions: Business History Collective and the webinar series

Call for Submissions: Business History Collective and the webinar series The network aims to promote scholarship in the fields of business history, management history, organizational history, corporate history, and other related fields. The network will launch the Spring 2021 webinar series to provide a space for the presentation and discussion of works in progress, dissertation chapters, or R&R manuscripts. The webinars are open to scholars primarily from a qualitative perspective, willing to engage in productive conversations by providing supportive and constructive comments to peers. We are currently looking for presenters and attendees to get things moving forward. We especially welcome submissions from graduate students and early-career researchers. We strongly encourage women, people of color, members of minority groups, scholars based in or working on under-represented geographies (such as Latin America, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia), and schola

AHA Virtual Seminar: Business History Today

Virtual AHA Seminar: Business History Today April 13th, 2021 2 pm  Colloquium--An assessment of the doing of business history at the beginning of the 21st century, sketching new trends and themes. Chair:  Philip B. Scranton , Rutgers University-Camden Presenters: Business History, Theory, and Globalization by Kenneth J. Lipartito , Florida International University Rethinking Chinese Economic Life and Business History by Philip Thai , Northeastern University Economic Life and the Margins of Business History by Alexia Yates , University of Manchester Histories of Business in Africa: Lessons from Ghana by Bianca Murillo , California State University, Dominguez Hills