Turner, Beard, Chandler: Progressive Historians

Posted: 16 Aug 2008

See all articles by Richard John

Richard John

University of Illinois at Chicago - Department of History

Date Written: 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

Suggested Citation

John, Richard, Turner, Beard, Chandler: Progressive Historians (Summer 2008). Business History Review, Vol. 82, No. 2, Summer 2008, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1226042

Richard John (Contact Author)

University of Illinois at Chicago - Department of History ( email )

913 University Hall (UH)
Chicago, IL 60607
United States

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