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Merchant Kings

Merchant Kings

August 2011

"Bown's work laudably contributes to the aim of sustaining public interest in history."

Canadian Literature, Aug 1, 2011
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Merchant Kings

Merchant Kings

March 2011

"Engagingly written and refreshingly conversational, Merchant Kings brings a cohesion to such a large and unwieldy historical period, a period that both led directly to, and remains an integral part of, so many contemporary economic and political struggles. And he does so commendably."

The Post and Courier (Charleston, South Carolina), Mar 8, 2011
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Merchant Kings

Merchant Kings

December 2010

"Bown has fashioned a chronicle perfectly relevant to our own time—and ultimately shows us that a market is free only when those who live and consume within it are protected from the powerful."

New York Journal of Books, Dec 7, 2010
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Merchant Kings

Merchant Kings

November 2010

"Bown’s prose is sharp and potent, and refrains from the habit of stylistic emptiness that plagues too many history biographies. In tracing the past of these six businessmen, he draws out not so much contrasts as the eerie parallels to our present-day economy, where greed, corruption, and market monopolies are so poignantly shared by the likes of institutions like Enron and the U.S. banking crisis."

Corporate Knights, Nov 5, 2010
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Merchant Kings

Merchant Kings

November 2010

"Bown has produced a magnificent description of the six great companies, and their leaders, that dominated the 'Heroic Age of Commerce'…[He] presents a fascinating look at the men who exploited resources and native peoples while laying the foundations of empires."

Publisher's Weekly, Nov 1, 2010
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Merchant Kings

Merchant Kings

September 2010

“In the present age of wealth and excess, corporate greed and scandal, an ingrained culture of entitlement shared by senior executives and senior bureaucrats, and inexcusable poverty, inequity, human rights abuses, and environmental degradation, Bown's stories resonate with us today on a much more immediate level.”

Northern Mariner, Sep 1, 2010
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Merchant Kings

Merchant Kings

August 2010

"Bown’s well-researched text brings these remarkable men to life, his eye for detail and infectious passion transporting readers through this passage in history. Battles and brawls, ruthless vision, despair, folly, grandeur are all woven into an exciting and gripping tale of men who would 'command the riches of the world, and consequently the world itself'. An excellent historical study and a very engaging read."

The Liverpool (U.K.) Daily Post, Aug 20, 2010
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Merchant Kings

Merchant Kings

August 2010

“The appeal...to ‘broaden’ Canadian history and consider it in the context of world events is evidenced in works such as Stephen R. Bown’s Merchant Kings, which provides a very readable comparative look at six of the most prominent characters in trading companies that dominated world trade, commerce and colonial expansion...Whether they were truly merchant kings, or merely renegades in the wilderness, this book provides a very accessible glimpse into a fascinating era when companies more than countries ran the world and actions of individual men really did change it profoundly.”

Canada's History, Aug 11, 2010
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Merchant Kings

Merchant Kings

February 2010

“Stephen R. Bown introduces a cast of colourful and often unscrupulous characters. In the Age of Heroic Commerce, these merchant-explorers and the companies they ran, such as the Dutch East India Company, the Russian-American Company, and the British South African Company, ruled vast tracts of the globe, raking in unimaginable wealth. With the backing of their home nations, the companies deposed rulers, raised private armies, waged war and collected taxes.”

History Magazine, Feb 1, 2010
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Merchant Kings

Merchant Kings

December 2009

“Stephen Bown tells a fascinating story, one that provides a very different perspective on the colonial period than that which is to be gleaned from the usual grocery list of significant events. I started Merchant Kings on the plane one evening and didn’t put it down until the Sun rose the next morning. I lost a night’s sleep – but it was worth it.”

The Right Honourable Paul Martin - Former Prime Minister of Canada, Dec 10, 2009
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