Charles Merrill is an authentic American genius and today’s capital markets bear his distinctive stamp in many ways, as Edwin J. Perkins’ book proves in fascinating detail. While the book works as a business history and as a professional portrait, it is less successful as a biography because Perkins deliberately chose to focus on Merrill’s professional life. By keeping Merrill’s personal life very much in the background, Perkins declines to bring Merrill’s personality to life. We learn about his career, but we do not seem to get to know the man himself. Happily, Merrill’s achievements and business innovations are well worth examining. His commitment to service, integrity and the good of the common customer - even when that angered the elite customer - made him richer than most of the aristocrats who fought against him. getAbstract recommends this worthy portrayal of a riveting role model to entrepreneurs, finance professionals and any business history buff.
About the Author
Edwin J. Perkins is professor emeritus of history at the University of Southern California. He is an expert on the history of American financial services and has written five books, including a history of the New York banking firm, Brown Brothers Harriman. He has testified before the U.S. Congress about proposed reforms of outdated banking laws.