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Maurice Duke and Daniel P. Jordan vividly describe the colorful life and times of one of the South’s—and America’s—most important businesses and provide insight into how luck, management practices, and personalities helped the company rise to international prominence.
Universal Leaf Tobacco Company, the world’s largest independent leaf tobacco dealer, is one of the major buying arms for tobacco manufacturers worldwide, selecting, purchasing, processing, and storing leaf tobacco. The story opens during the aftermath of the Civil War when Southerners realized once again the worldwide potential of their native crop.
The authors follow the company from its incorporation in 1918 through one of the first hostile takeover attempts in American business, to its evolution in 1993 into Universal Corporation, a worldwide conglomerate with a number of products including tobacco.
Based on scholarly research and over two hundred interviews with past and present Universal employees, this objective saga reveals much about American business and economic history.
Maurice Duke, former journalist, is now professor of English at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Daniel P. Jordan is president of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation at Monticello.
The University Press of Kentucky
Place of Publication
Universal Leaf Tobacco Company, Tobacco, Tobacco industry, Universal Corporation, Conglomerates
Duke, Maurice and Jordan, Daniel P., "Tobacco Merchant: The Story of Universal Leaf Tobacco Company" (1995). History in General. 1.