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The new paperback  and ebook editions of Martha Matilda Harper and the American Dream are now available for purchase on Amazon.

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Inspire young children with the new children’s book, Martha’s Magical Hair, which is now available for purchase on Amazon.

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Martha the Hairpreneur, a new young adult book, has just been released and is available for purchase on Amazon. All ages can now delight in discovering Martha’s life.

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(The hardcover version of Martha Matilda Harper and the American Dream is out of print.)

Discounts for schools and libraries are available.  Contact

Sample Reviews

New Children’s Book, Martha’s Magical Hair

screen-shot-2017-04-09-at-2-20-36-pm.png“Any parent interested in instilling the power of possibilities in their daughter will be turning the pages of Martha’s Magical Hair together with the questions on each page sparking moments for imaginative exploration. What a joyous path to sweet discoveries!”
–Debra M. Jacobs, President/CEO, The Patterson Foundation, Sarasota, FL

“It’s never too early to learn about the beauty of franchising! Jane Plitt has tenderly translated the franchising business model into a language that children of all ages can understand. Martha’s Magical Hair deserves a spot on the bookshelf next to Goodnight Moon.”
–Steven B. Feirman, Franchising Attorney, Nixon Peabody LLP, Washington, D.C.

In times of uncertainty, Jane Plitt’s magical book instills hope in children who might feel forgotten or fearful. This book is a wonderful resource for parents to help their daughters embrace Susan B. Anthony’s inspiring words: “Failure is impossible.”
–Dr. Sheree Toth, University of Rochester Director of Mt. Hope Family Center, Director of Clinical Training, Professor of Psychology

Martha Matilda Harper and the American Dream

“In the history of business [Martha Stewart] will certainly rank below Martha M. Harper (1857-1950), who played a major part in the development of the franchise system that so dominates America’s service industries.”
–Nicholas von Hoffman, Wall Street Journal

“Martha Matilda Harper was one of the most successful and innovative female business leaders in the late 1800s and early 1900s. She pioneered the Harper Method, a franchise model that altered her own destiny and the destinies of thousands of working class women. In a time when entrepreneurship was considered a man’s domain, she encouraged women to own their own business. If you want to know more about this fascinating lady who left a legacy when she died, read her biography by Jane R. Plitt.”
Modern Salon Magazine

“Plitt establishes Harper as the founder of American retail franchising; yet in the world of retail marketing, where ‘franchising has become an updated version of the American Dream,’ the Harper story, like the Harper Method, has been misplaced. Jane Platt’s biography of [Harper] fills the breach . . . for objective evaluation of the roles of women . . . in American history.”
Business Library Review International Magazine

“Reading this short book can be both an emotional release and an inspiration.”
The Tribune, Institute of Teratology

Martha Matilda Harper and the American Dream: How One Woman Changed the Face of Modern Business is the fascinating, meticulously researched, superbly presented biography of the woman who invented the business franchise. Yet her inventive contribution was lost to American business history until Jane Plitt (business owner, labor arbitrator, social justice advocate, and visiting scholar at the University of Rochester) discovered through original research what a remarkable contribution Martha Matilda Harper had made to the contemporary face of American-style free enterprise. ‘Martha Matilda Harper and the American Dream’ is enthusiastically recommended reading and an essential addition to women’s studies and American business history reading lists and library collections.”
Midwest Book Review

“Martha Matilda Harper was one of the most successful and innovative female entrepreneurs of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries . . . Rather than simply enriching herself, Harper offered other working women the opportunity to own their own business and control their own destiny. An inspirational biography of an overlooked entrepreneurial pioneer.”

Lois Banner, author, “American Beauty” and “In Full Flower
“Well-written and intriguing, this books shows the importance of beauty in women’s lives and how a woman can achieve the American Dream through talent, ambition and hard work. A good read–and an important document in uncovering the forgotten history of women.”

Thomas Golisano, founder and former CEO, Paychex Inc.
‘This is a ‘Yes’ book for all those daring to dream and work hard. Harper applied such vision and leadership when she launched modern franchising worldwide to change the destinies of thousands of poor women like herself. Makes me want to cheer for Harper and the extraordinary community, Rochester, N.Y., that supported her and so many innovative businesses and leaders.”

Joanne Shaw, former chairman, International Franchise Association
“As a female entrepreneur, one who also knows persistence prevails, I found this story particularly motivating.”

Peter Prichard, former president, Freedom Forum and Newseum, and former editor, USA Today
“Readers owe Jane Plitt a great debt for bringing Martha Harper’s story to light: How one woman beat the odds, created a thriving business, invented franchising and proved that women are men’s equals in the business world.”

Gene Boyer, a founder, National Organization for Women
“A fascinating true story about Martha Matilda Harper and her pioneering accomplishments, extraordinary vision and principled way of doing business.”

Christine Whitman, former president and COO, VEECO
“This story is a great reminder that the entrepreneurial spirit is not gender, culture or generation specific, and is born from a burning desire to provide the customer with a better way.”