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business history



  • Our Insurance Dystopia

    by Caley Horan

    America's health insurance morass is a result of the replacement of the ideal of mutual, universal risk sharing with the privatization of risk in pursuit of profit. 



  • The Men Who Turned Slavery Into Big Business

    by Joshua D. Rothman

    "We still live in the world that Franklin and Armfield’s profits helped build, and with the enduring inequalities that they and their industry entrenched."



  • How To Make An Oligopoly

    by Brittany McWilliams

    A document from the Eli Lilly corporate archives shows how the pharmaceutical giant strategized to control the global market in insulin. 


  • Robots Don't Catch the Coronavirus

    by Alan Singer

    Companies have used federal funding in previous crises for selfish, rather than public, ends. In the COVID-19 crisis some are using bailout funds to make jobs permanently disappear. 



  • What Democracy’s History Tells Us About Its Future

    In an email exchange hosted by the Harvard Business Review, Professor of Business Rebecca Henderson and Professor of History Jill Lepore discussed capitalism’s role in an increasingly populist world.



  • The Greatest Scam in History

    by Naomi Oreskes

    Scientists working on the issue have often told me that, once upon a time, they assumed, if they did their jobs, politicians would act upon the information. That, of course, hasn’t happened. Why?


  • Citibank: Exploiting the Past, Condemning the Future

    by Alan Singer

    To celebrate its 200th anniversary in 2011, Citibank published a book celebrating its history. Despite the book's heft, glossy photographs, and celebratory tone, Citibank and its forbearers definitely did not strive to make the world a better place.