Robert Hessen


Robert Hessen, a senior research fellow at the Hoover Institution, is a historian specializing in American economic and business history.

He received his BA from Queens College, his MA from Harvard University, and his PhD from Columbia University. He taught in the Graduate School of Business at Columbia until 1974. Since then, when he joined the Hoover Institution, he has taught in Stanford's Graduate School of Business.

He lectures frequently to business and academic audiences on government regulation of industry and has testified before congressional committees.

His articles, commentaries and reviews have appeared in many scholarly and popular publications, including the New York Times, Barron's, Business History Review, Labor History, the Hastings Law Journal, and the Journal of Law and Economics.

Hessen has written two books and edited three others. Steel Titan: The Life of Charles M. Schwab was published by Oxford University Press in 1975, and In Defense of the Corporation (now in its 5th printing) was published by the Hoover Institution Press in 1979. He edited Does Big Business Rule America? (Ethics and Public Policy Center, 1981), Berlin Alert: The Memoirs and Reports of Truman Smith (1984), and Breaking with Communism: The Intellectual Odyssey of Bertram D. Wolfe (1990). He is general editor of the Hoover Archival Documentaries, a multivolume series that publishes historically significant materials from the archives of the Hoover Institution.

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Analysis and Commentary

Creating a Corporation Is a Registration Process

by Robert Hessenvia Wall Street Journal
Monday, December 11, 2006

John F. Prusiecki's rebuttal to Henry G. Manne's views on corporations (Letters, Dec. 1) contains several serious factual errors...

In Defense Of The Corporation

In Defense of the Corporation

by Robert Hessenvia Books by Hoover Fellows
Sunday, January 1, 1978

In this book Hessen presents an uncompromising defense of the right of corporation to exist and function freely. He offers a reinterpretation of the nature and historic origins of corporate enterprise, and a spirited challenge to the current widespread condemnation of giant corporations.