Summary Of Michael Jordan And The New Capitalism

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Walter LaFeber’s essay, Michael Jordan and the New Capitalism: America on Top of Its Game, examines the ways that capitalism, along with high-tech communication, is conquering the world, one person-or in this case one pair of feet-at a time. Beginning as a basketball prodigy, rising to an international phenomenon, and finally a seductive commercial ideal, Jordan is a true example of how our American corporations have used technology in a brave way to expand all over the world. Through LaFeber’s examination of Nike and its power over the global, along with Jordan’s background, a lot is revealed about American society.
In 1999, when this essay was published, something as simple as a cellphone was a revolution to the American people. Conversations anywhere with no wires involved! Wow! Looking back now, American seemed pretty simple in 1999. This is the same for Michael Jordan – once upon a time, Jordan was JUST a basketball player. LaFeber’s essay illustrates for us the rise of the young Jordan from his middle-class family in racist North Carolina through his college years and eventually into the NBA where he became an international sports icon. LaFeber tells the story of how Jordan caught the eye of Nike CEO Phil Knight and goes on to explain how Knight transformed Jordan into the face of a multi-billion dollar international corporation. LaFeber also fills us in on race and sports issues surrounding Jordan and how that played a part in Nike’s growth. LaFeber shows us how race effected middle-class Michael Jordan at a young age and how he was able to overcome this and grow into the star he is today.
There is often a chief product that keeps a business afloat even in the rough times. McDonalds has the Big Mac, Apple has the iPod, and Nike has Jordan. In the essay, LaFeber speaks about the types of business deals that fueled Jordan’s career. The new business strategies of the shoe company Nike, helped escalate Jordan to the level of global fame he is today. Nike was an American company which produced and sold a majority of their shoes in other countries. Here, LaFeber illustrates how the world interacted with itself, and ultimately how globalization took off. LaFeber identifies Jordan at the center of a new

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