In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

The one person most responsible for this book being in print is Kerry Jacobs, professor of accounting in the School of Business at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia. I had long given up on the project when out of the blue Professor Jacobs (then at Edinburgh University in Scotland) e-mailed me in spring 2003 requesting a copy of an article on medieval bookkeeping —here, the basis of chapter 7—that had been published eighteen years earlier. Jacobs wrote something to the effect that he could hardly believe that any sociologist, much less an American—American sociology has a less than vaunted reputation in Europe—could or would study bookkeeping. I, in turn, was astounded to learn that a business professor was conducting ethnographic field research on, of all things, religious orders. This shock was doubled when Jacobs informed me that in Great Britain, the discipline of business administration had appropriated Marxism, social linguistics, critical theory, and Foucauldian sociology into its outlook. Thus began an intense exchange of communications: Jacobs sending me extensive lists of to-reads; I reciprocating with observations on his work. This book has grown from interdisciplinary collaboration of the best sort. As for the original project, it emerged from conversations —not all of which I understood at the time—with my late father-in-law, John W. McMahan, then an accountant for the Atomic Energy Commission. To my knowledge at least, he was the first recipient of the Ph.D. in accounting in America (McMahan, 1939). His dissertation traces parallels between the logic of modern bookkeeping and Thomistic philosophy. It is the inspiration for, if not the thesis of, this book. In my personal library sits Dr. McMahan’s dog-eared, pencil-marked xix Acknowledgments copy of what is still one of the most readable and comprehensive social histories of accounting every written, that authored by his major adviser, A. C. Littleton. I could have accomplished little academically were it not for the generosity and indulgence of my often befuddled colleagues at Idaho State University (ISU) (“What is he up to now?”). Much of the initial research for this project, conducted at the University of New Mexico, was undertaken with the help of an ISU faculty research grant. My wife, poet Margaret Aho, translated selections in Latin from several medieval home economics textbooks. I am grateful for permission to use parts of a previously published article as a chapter in this book: “Rhetoric and the Invention of Double Entry Bookkeeping.” Reproduced by permission from the University of California Press from Rhetorica: A Journal of the History of Rhetoric 3 (winter 1985): 21–43.© International Society for the History of Rhetoric. xx Acknowledgments ...


Additional Information

Related ISBN
MARC Record
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.