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Beetles in Brown Shirts?

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Michael Burleigh on Volkswagen's Nazi past

Historians are not usually subsidised by the subjects of their research. Business historians are an exception. Most of the time this relationship does not matter very much, since the work that results is usually only consulted by past and present employees or other business historians. The paying public does not rush to buy histories of the postal or railway services or multi-volume works on the banks and oil giants. At its best, business history is a respectable branch of knowledge; at its worst, it is corporate vanity publishing.


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