HBS Working Knowledge Recommends

Kindred Spirits: Harvard Business School’s Extraordinary Class of 1949 and How They Transformed American Business
by David Callahan
John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2002

David Callahan’s engrossing study of the HBS Class of 1949 illustrates how the Depression and World War II shaped the class. The Class of 1949 was an unusual group that went on to produce some of the most successful and influential business leaders of the postwar era, literally molding the business world.Entering HBS straight from the military, many of the class members were able to go to Harvard only because of the GI Bill. Twenty-eight percent of the class retired as CEOs or presidents of a company. Included among its members were James Burke, who built Johnson & Johnson into a $5 billion dollar corporate empire; Peter McColough, who turned a small struggling company named Haloid into the giant Xerox; and William Ruane, who helped bring “value investing” to Wall Street, creating one of the most successful mutual funds of all time.

Virtual Museum of SEC History
Harvey Pitt and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission have been prominent in the public’s attention these days, so what better time to look at the agency’s historical roots? This effort, part of the SEC’s overall site, contains primary source materials, oral histories, letters to and from former SEC leaders, court records, diaries, photos, and other materials.

The site is kept up to date with fresh content as it is unearthed or produced. One gem here includes a lively letter to Felix Frankfurter from his former student at Harvard Business School and early SEC employee, David Ginsburg, who provides colorful courtroom details on an important case.