The history of Krupp is the history of modern Germany. No company symbolized the best and worst of that history more than the famous steel and arms maker. In this book, Harold James tells the story of the Krupp family and its industrial empire between the early nineteenth century and the present, and analyzes its transition from a family business to one owned by a nonprofit foundation.
Krupp founded a small steel mill in 1811, which established the basis for one of the largest and most important companies in the world by the end of the century. Famously loyal to its highly paid workers, it rejected an exclusive focus on profit, but the company also played a central role in the armament of Nazi Germany and the firm's head was convicted as a war criminal at Nuremberg. Yet after the war Krupp managed to rebuild itself and become a symbol of Germany once again--this time open, economically successful, and socially responsible.
Books on Krupp tend to either denounce it as a diabolical enterprise or celebrate its technical ingenuity. In contrast, James presents a balanced account, showing that the owners felt ambivalent about the company's military connection even while becoming more and more entangled in Germany's aggressive politics during the imperial era and the Third Reich.
By placing the story of Krupp and its owners in a wide context, James also provides new insights into the political, social, and economic history of modern Germany.
Harold James is professor of history and international affairs and the Claude and Lore Kelly Professor of European Studies at Princeton University. His books include The Creation and Destruction of Value, The End of Globalization, and Family Capitalism. He was awarded the 2004 Helmut Schmidt Prize for Economic History, and the 2005 Ludwig Erhard Prize for economics writing. He is also the Marie Curie Visiting Professor at the European University Institute.
"Krupp is a meticulous company history, enhanced by the author's immersion in the company's archives. The book is also, inevitably, the biography of a family. . . . Krupp rewards a reader's effort. The book shows us not only a family and a company, but also the state in its various forms with which Krupp has been associated for two centuries. The Krupp story remains troubling, but Mr. James has done much to give us a richer understanding of a company saddled with one ignoble chapter in a long history."--Jennifer Siegel, Wall Street Journal
"What is good about Harold James' writing is that he does not make judgments or take sides. He allows the reader to do that."--R. Balashankar, Organiser
"Krupp has provided a reasonable, balanced summary of the company's history and the men driving it. As such the book will be an interesting read for the layperson interested in business history in general and the disputed history of Krupp in particular."--Armin Grünbacher, Economic History Review
Review of German edition: "This is a masterfully told and unprejudiced book about a traditional enterprise which despite many crises made its way into the twenty-first century."--Joachim Käppner, Süddeutsche Zeitung
Table of Contents:
Introduction: A Nation and a Name 1
CHAPTER ONE: Risk: Friedrich Krupp 9
CHAPTER TWO: Steel: Alfred Krupp 24
CHAPTER THREE: Science: Friedrich Alfred Krupp 89
CHAPTER FOUR: Diplomacy: Gustav Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach I 123
CHAPTER FIVE: Tradition: Gustav Krupp von Bohlen and Halbach II 145
CHAPTER SIX: Power and Deglobalization: Gustav and Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach 172
CHAPTER SEVEN: Reglobalization: Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach and Berthold Beitz 226
Appendix 1: Family Tree 295
Appendix 2: Business Results, 1811-2010 297
List of Illustrations 337
Another Princeton book authored or coauthored by Harold James: