The Fall of the Bell System: A Study in Prices and Politics

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Overview

AT&T's divestiture was the largest corporate reorganization in history and has had international repercussions. It was a major development in American economic policy, and a prominent part of the deregulation movement of the late 1970s. This study reveals the internal decision-making process at AT&T and explains how private and public interests combined to shape corporate and public policy in late 20th-century America. Temin weaves the strands of politics, economics, business, and law into an accessible narrative history that will be of interest to the general reader who wants to know about government business interaction and how it affects American citizens. Temin portrays divestiture as a great experiment in public policy, competition, openness, and international policy. He concludes that the experiment has been a mix of deliberate design and uncontrollable forces whose outcome was not foreseen.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This history recounts the internal debates, court cases, regulatory decisions, and legislative initiatives that led to the breakup of the Bell System. Temin economics, MIT and Galambos history, Johns Hopkins detail the company's struggle with regulators, competitors, and its own corporate culture. The authors present a comprehensive, technical study, but compared to David Halberstam's The Reckoning LJ 12/15/86, about the auto industry, this story lacks a grand sweep or theme. Recommended for university and large public libraries. Richard C. Schiming, Mankato State Univ., Minn.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521389297
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/2003
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Table of Contents

List of tables, figures, and plates; Preface; Acknowledgments; Note on sources; Introduction; 1. Setting the stage; 2. Competition comes to the Bell System; 3. Action and reaction; 4. The conflict broadens; 5. Fighting on all fronts; 6. Reaching agreement; 7. Creating the new order; 8. Reflections; Index.

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