Technology and Culture
A company history like Sheldon Hochheiser's Rohm and Haas -- written by an employee of the firm for the express purpose of celebrating the organization's 75th anniversary -- is almost invariably viewed with suspicion by the scholarly community. How can a study possess integrity if management has the last word on publication? Is this book nothing more than vanity press disguised beneath a university press book jacket?
Rest assured that in the case of Rohm and Haas these frequently invoked criticisms have no real merit. The author has produced a most remarkable study, for which both Hochheiser and the company should be commended. This work is extremely sound in the selection and analysis of printed and manuscript materials as well as in the careful use of information from numerous oral histories. Hochheiser interprets the firm's history within a historiographical context not typically found in this genre. In reconstructing the past from his unique perspective, he has filled a void in the historical literature by tracing the growth of a 20th-century leader in science-based industry.
Copyright © 1988, Society for the History of Technology
Johns Hopkins University Press
Heitmann, John Alfred, "Review: 'Rohm and Haas: History of a Chemical Company'" (1988). History Faculty Publications. 83.