This book is about the way in which industrial production in Germany was conditioned by social, political, and regional factors from the seventeenth century to the present. The argument is distinctive because it pays so much attention to small and medium sized firms, and because it suggests that Germany does not have a single coherent national system of industrial governance. This social constructivist point of view presents a direct challenge to the Gerschenkronian, Schumpetarian, and Chandlerian approaches to Germany's economic history.
"No brief review can do justice to the wealth of detail and the broad range of sources with which this thesis is supported, backed as it is by footnote discussions that add 50% to the length of the book...this very important contribution will make it impossible, at least in the English language literature, to neglect in future the role of the nonautarkic industries in the economic rise of Germany...Backed, as they are in this case, by rich detail and knowledgeable insight, they make an important contribution that no one in the future will be able to ignore." Sidney Pollard, American Journal of Sociology "...Gary Herrigel has produced an excellent history..." David Knoke, Contemporary Sociology "...it provides a solid basis for understanding the history of technology and industrial policy in Germany." Edmund N. Todd, Technology and Culture "...Herrigel provides a valuable overview of some recent research on Germany both past and present... Clearly, this book should interest a wide range of economists, historians, and political scientists." Journal of Economic History "Herrigel provides a valuable overview of some recent research on Germany both past and present. Of particular importance is the wealth of German-language research considered in this book, since that portion of the historical literature frequently escapes the attention of the Anglophone audience. Clearly, this book should interest a wide range of economists, historians and political scientists." Caroline Fohlin, The Journal Economic History "Herrigel's analysis is at once informative...Herrigel has written a remarkably good book. He explicitly disavows any intention of presenting a general theory of German industrialization, and he does not present himself as an economist." K. Austin Kerr, H-Net Reviews