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This is a synthetic historical account of the rise of the corporation and its gradual consolidation of political, legal, and economic power in the United States and globally. Written for a general audience, the narrative traces the development of corporations from their earliest beginnings in the English craft and merchant guilds through the political and legal battles that allowed them to gain their current position of global power at the expense of democratic controls. Unlike other works on the topic, the author valuably extends the discussion of the development corporate rights beyond the infamous Supreme Court decision in Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad to identify three stages in the creation of corporate rights: legislative creation of corporate quasi-rights (1820-1900), judicial creation of corporate-constitutional rights (1886-1986), and trade agreement creation of corporate global rights (1987-present). For this new edition, he has added a chapter on alternatives that points to the European Union's corporate model. Annotation ©2006 Book News, Inc. , Portland, OR (booknews. com)
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