Transaction Man

The Rise of the Deal and the Decline of the American Dream by Nicholas Lemann

  • Published: Aug 03, 2020

An Amazon Best History Book of 2019 "A splendid and beautifully written illustration of the tremendous importance public policy has for the daily lives of ordinary people." Ryan Cooper, Washington Monthly Over the last generation, the United... read more

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Details of Transaction Man

Exact title of the book
Transaction Man
Book author
Nicholas Lemann
ISBN
9780374713782
Publisher
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Published
Sep 10, 2019
Language
English
Format
PDF, FB2, EPUB, MOBI
Pages
320
File size (in PDF)
2880 kB

Some brief overview of book

An Amazon Best History Book of 2019 "A splendid and beautifully written illustration of the tremendous importance public policy has for the daily lives of ordinary people." Ryan Cooper, Washington Monthly Over the last generation, the United States has undergone seismic changes. Stable institutions have given way to frictionless transactions, which are celebrated no matter what collateral damage they generate. The concentration of great wealth has coincided with the fraying of social ties and the rise of inequality.

How did all this come about? In Transaction Man, Nicholas Lemann explains the United Statesand the worldsgreat transformation by examining three remarkable individuals who epitomized and helped create their eras. Adolf Berle, Franklin Delano Roosevelts chief theorist of the economy, imagined a society dominated by large corporations, which a newly powerful federal government had forced to become benign and stable institutions, contributing to the public good by offering stable employment and generous pensions.

By the 1970s, the corporations large stockholders grew restive under this regime, and their chief theoretician, Harvard Business Schools Michael Jensen, insisted that firms should maximize shareholder value, whatever the consequences. Today, Silicon Valley titans such as the LinkedIn cofounder and venture capitalist Reid Hoffman hope "networks" can reknit our social fabric. Lemann interweaves these fresh and vivid profiles with a history of the Morgan Stanley investment bank from the 1930s through the financial crisis of 2008, while also tracking the rise and fall of a working-class Chicago neighborhood and the family-run car dealerships at its heart.

Incisive and sweeping, Transaction Man is the definitive account of the reengineering of America and the enormous impact it has had on us all.

About author

Lemann is Joseph Pulitzer II and Edith Pulitzer Moore Professor and dean emeritus at Columbia Journalism School and a staff writer for The New Yorker. His previous books include The Big Test The Secret History of the American Meritocracy and The Promised Land The Great Migration and How It Changed America.

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