In the history of business, there has been a clear record of industry heads finding something or someone as a mainstay and bedrock for their respective companies or corporations; there is often a chief product that keeps many businesses afloat, even in the rough times. Apple found it's own in 2001 with the iPod. McDonald's has had the Big Mac since the late 1960s. Nike, however, found their goldmine in a person with Michael Jordan. Walter LaFeber's Michael Jordan and the New Global Capitalism tells the paints the picture of the rise of young Michael Jordan from his middle-class family in racist North Carolina up through college and into the NBA where he becomes an international sports icon. It tells the story of how Jordan catches the eye of Nike's ambitious co-founder and CEO, Phil Knight, and how he was transformed from a young, rebellious black hoopster into the face of a multi-billion dollar transnational corporation while stretching its touch all of the way to the far reaches of Asia. LeFeber's book also delves into the darker issues and topics addressing Jordan and Nike, such as race and sports and how they played a part during scandals that surrounded MJ off of the court along with the growth of Nike abroad and their dealing with technological changes in manufacturing while facing criticism for their labor practices.
Walter LeFeber's book serves as a cornerstone of reference for its content as it relates to race, black business and the expansion of global capitalism since the late 20th century. With regard to race, it shows how race effected middle-class Michael Jordan at a young age and how he grew in the star he became, yet still could not es...
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... the future of black business in America. Just from reading this book and seeing the future of business and the commodification of black culture since its first publishing, most of the areas that the book touches upon have given accurate insight to how others have cashed in on black culture and how black business has evolved. An example that is evident is of George Foreman and his promotion of the Lean Mean Fat-Reducing Grilling Machine. Here is a black heavyweight boxer that is using not only his name and his former athletic prowess to endorse a product, but, one can say, also stereotypical blackness, with his affinity to unhealthy foods such as hamburgers and hot dogs, to promote a promote a product for Salton, Inc., a Jewish-founded company. Foreman, like Jordan, amassed a large fortune from his promotion of the grills but at the price of selling black culture.
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