Turner, Beard, Chandler: Progressive Historians
University of Illinois at Chicago - Department of History
Business History Review, Vol. 82, No. 2, Summer 2008
For almost half a century, Alfred D. Chandler Jr. has enjoyed an enviable reputation as the most influential business historian in the world. Yet, there is one dimension of his scholarship that has thus far been mostly overlooked. And that is its indebtedness to, and refinement of, the genre of historical writing that we customarily label "progressive," a genre whose most prominent exemplars include Frederick Jackson Turner (1861-1932) and Charles A. Beard (1874-1948). Chandler was not only a pillar of the "organizational synthesis" that drew creatively on certain social theoretical insights of Max Weber and Talcott Parsons; he was also an heir to one of the most distinguished traditions of historical writing to have originated in the United States, a tradition that has for over one hundred years inspired emulation in the United States and abroad.
Keywords: Alfred Chandler, Frederick Jackson Turner, Charles A. Beard
JEL Classification: B00, B15, B25, B31, N01, N82, N80
Date posted: August 16, 2008