The Puritan Gift has been declared by the Financial Times to be one of the Top Ten Business Books of 2007. However, it is much more than that – it is history of American managerial culture in the widest sense, taking in both the public and the private sector, from 1630 to the present day. It argues that:
- the rise of America as a great economic and political power was due in large part to the excellence of its managerial culture, which derived ultimately from the Puritan Migrants who came to Massachusetts in the 1630s;
- America ‘transplanted’ that culture to Japan when it occupied that country from 1945 to 1952, an event which led first to Japan’s Economic Miracle and then to similar Miracles in the ‘Tiger Economies’ and in mainland China; and,
- after 1970, America whored after false managerial gods, resulting in various catastrophes ranging from the subprime credit crisis to the political failure in Iraq.
Political power hinges on economic power, and economic power hinges on the quality of corporate management. (Political power also depends on the quality of political management.) The Hoppers argue that the recent rise of political Asia, and the concomitant relative decline of political America, are in part functions of changes in managerial culture.