This thread is for interesting resources on given historical periods.
A long one, but definitely great reading:The Merchant of Death: Basil Zaharoff
Set around the verge of 19th to 20th century, it is a small study of one particular 'merchant of death', possibly the biggest one, a military contractor in an industry that has just started to grow explosively. Plenty of other related topics are explored, but the most interesting notion is to me this:
With all the influence this man was reported to have, he has managed to stay in the shadows. There's something creepily cool about that.