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Fiction can be a powerful force to educate students and employees in ways that lectures, textbooks, articles, case studies, and other traditional teaching approaches cannot. This anthology includes articles from a number of individuals from a range of different disciplines and perspectives. All of the contributors to Capitalism and Commerce in Imaginative Literature are committed to treating literary texts with integrity and believe that business should have a larger claim upon people’s literary consciousness. In addition, they all value the important role of literature in dealing with the complexities of a capitalist culture. This collection of essays provides a means to appreciate the richness and variety of fictional portrayals of businesses and businesspersons. The works selected for examination reflect the variety of philosophical, political, economic, cultural, social, and ethical perspectives that have been found over time in American society. The novels and plays analyzed include high literature, mid-range literature, popular literature, ancient epics, grand narratives, hero tales, masterpieces, ideological texts, science fiction, and more. There are a great many works of literature waiting to be read and studied by business and economically-minded individuals from many different viewpoints and fields of study. This volume provides a space to explore a wide range of fictional works and opinions about them.
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Edward W. Younkins is professor of accountancy and director of graduate business programs at Wheeling Jesuit University.Review:
In this volume, Edward W. Younkins brings together a remarkably talented and diverse group of scholars who provide us with provocative essays that break down the walls between economics and literary criticism, history, and imagination. The result is a collection that challenges conventional perspectives on classic literature and historical interpretation. (Chris Matthew Sciabarra, New York University)
Congratulations to Ed Younkins for an imaginative work on a most important topic. Students are going to love it, and learn from it. (Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr., Mises Institute)
Capitalism and Commerce in Imaginative Literature is an excellent collection of essays that should prove most useful in any management or business ethics course. (Douglas B. Rasmussen, St. Johns University)
'The business of America is business,’ said Calvin Coolidge. So it is entirely fitting that scholars of various disciplines should look at the portrayal of business and economic activity in literature, American and otherwise. These essays may even make you want to read—or reread—Elizabeth Gaskell, Willa Cather, or August Wilson. (David Boaz, Executive Vice President, Cato Institute)
This may be the definitive anthology on literature and business. It offers a truly remarkable range of perspectives and insights. (Joseph L. Badaracco, Harvard Business School)
We have too long spoken of the opposition between business and literature, but in this remarkable collection that distorted perception is not only corrected, but overridden. With impressive diversity of both topics and authors, this collection of essays highlights the synergies between commerce and culture. I have little doubt that this volume will also inspire future artistic endeavors with business as the central subject. (Douglas Den Uyl, Vice President of Educational Programs, Liberty Fund)
Marcel Proust famously said, “The writer’s work is...an optical instrument... to enable [the reader] to discern what, without this book, he would perhaps never have experienced in himself. And the recognition by the reader in his own self of what the book says in the proof of its veracity.” I can’t think of more powerful application of this insight than in the new volume edited by Ed Younkins, Capitalism and Commerce in Imaginative Literature. In 28 extraordinarily diverse essays, the authors explore alternative worlds that might have been and could never be, as a means of exploring worlds readers couldn’t possibly have experienced. The essays work as literature on their own, but their real importance is as thought experiments: What does it mean to be human, and what does it mean to engage in commerce. A tour de force for economist and literature scholar alike. (Michael C. Munger, Duke University)
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