Book cover of For Profit: A History of Corporations  by William Magnusonby William Magnuson

A history of how corporate innovation has shaped society, from ancient Rome to Silicon Valley 

From legacy manufacturers to emerging tech giants, corporations wield significant power over our lives, our economy, and our politics. Some celebrate them as engines of progress and prosperity. Others argue that they recklessly pursue profit at the expense of us all.

In For Profit, law professor William Magnuson reveals that both visions contain an element of truth. The story of the corporation is a human story, about a diverse group of merchants, bankers, and investors that have over time come to shape the landscape of our modern economy.  Its central characters include both the brave, powerful, and ingenious and the conniving, fraudulent, and vicious. At times, these characters have been one and the same.

Interview with the Author

Podcast Art of The Michael Shermer ShowThe Michael Shermer Show 
321. William Magnuson — For Profit: A History of Corporations
2/4/23             96 min

Podcast art for Bloomberg Buiness WeekBloomberg Businessweek 
How Corporations Can Do Good for All
11/9/22            10 min

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