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history of capitalism



  • Public Thinker: Destin Jenkins on Breaking Bonds

    by Hannah Appel

    "As your work so powerfully shows, the municipal bond market structures racial privilege, entrenches spatial neglect, and distributes wealth and power. American cities are dependent on financiers, rating agencies, and bond markets for nearly everything."



  • Land of Capital: Jonathan Levy's "Ages of American Capital" Reviewed

    by Steven Hahn

    "Ages of Capitalism" is one of the first synthetic accounts of the relationship of capitalism and American politics and society, and provides an important vocabulary for a developing field of inquiry. It also, oddly, resonates with the older consensus history that assumed capitalism as a core part of American life.



  • Our Insurance Dystopia

    by Caley Horan

    America's health insurance morass is a result of the replacement of the ideal of mutual, universal risk sharing with the privatization of risk in pursuit of profit. 



  • The Men Who Turned Slavery Into Big Business

    by Joshua D. Rothman

    "We still live in the world that Franklin and Armfield’s profits helped build, and with the enduring inequalities that they and their industry entrenched."



  • The End of Development

    by Tim Barker

    "Capitalism’s publicists are experiencing something of what Marxists went through after 1989, with one important difference: capitalism may be increasingly discredited, but it has not disappeared the way state socialism did."



  • Online Roundtable: Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor’s ‘Race for Profit’

    Black Perspectives, the blog of the African American Intellectual History Society, will sponsor a virtual roundtable on the award-winning "Race For Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership" with new essays being released beginning March 8. 



  • Who Gets to Govern the Global Economy?

    by Christy Thornton

    Johns Hopkins Latin Americanist Christy Thornton describes her book "Revolution In Development" and its contribution to understanding how Mexican officials fought against dismissive treatment from the world's leading economic powers as they sought a voice in shaping the international economic order. 



  • The Gadfly of American Plutocracy (Review)

    by Simon Torracinta

    A new biography of the social theorist examines how his approach to understanding a past gilded age can offer lessons for our present one. 



  • Eric Williams’ Foundational Work on Slavery, Industry, and Wealth

    by Katie Donington

    Debates over Eric Williams’s work have ebbed and flowed ever since he first published Capitalism and Slavery in 1944. His book inspired a body of historiography to which many historians of slavery and abolition have added their voices over the decades.

  • POLL: Have You Engaged with the History of Capitalism?

    by HNN Staff

    The New York Times' Jennifer Schuessler published a story in last Sunday's edition on the newfound popularity of the history of capitalism. "A specter is haunting university history departments," she wrote, "the specter of capitalism."This new history of capitalism integrates social and cultural approaches to economic history and adopts a strictly post-Cold War mentality. Gone are hoary Marxist bromides and questions about why socialism failed to develop as a political movement in the United States; instead, the new generation of history of capitalism scholars -- those profiled in the article include Julia Ott, Bethany Moreton, Louis Hyman, and Stephen Mihm -- focus on the practice of capitalism by the people in the middle and at the top, melding a sound knowledge of math and economics with race and gender analyses.