Since the formation of the American Republic the principles of free enterprise and equal opportunity have been at the very core of economic philosophy. During the revolution, colonists fought not only for intangibles like "liberty" and "justice," but also for the promises of a free market that provided everyone with the opportunity to pursue economic advancement regardless of social position and unsubjugated to a crown. America quickly became a society in which an individual's success would be measured not by birthright, but rather by determination. In this atmosphere, men and women have sought fortune limited only by their own abilities, their willingness to work hard, and their courage in the face of unknown dangers. In this course, we'll examine the lives and careers of successful men and women who seized the opportunities offered by the vibrant and open economy that has ensued. We'll examine how each of these individuals found the necessary resources-both economic and personal-to achieve greatness in the business arena. In doing so, we hope not only to arrive at a better understanding of American business history in general, but also to commune with its greatest visionaries-its Masters of Enterprise.
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by H.W. Brands
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