Author: Louis Hyman, Edward E. Baptist
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
From Cornell University Professors Louis Hyman and Edward E. Baptist, a collection of the most relevant readings on the history of capitalism in America, created to accompany their EdX course "American Capitalism: A Reader." To understand the past and especially our own times, arguably no story is as essential to get right as the history of capitalism. Nearly all of our theories about promoting progress come from how we interpret the economic changes of the last 500 years. This past decade's crises continue to remind us just how much capitalism changes, even as basic features like wage labor, financial markets, private property, and entrepreneurs endure. While capitalism has a global history, the United States plays a special role in that story. "American Capitalism: A Reader" will help you to understand how the United States became the world's leading economic power, while revealing essential lessons about what has been and what will be possible in capitalism's ongoing revolution. Combining a wealth of essential readings, introductions by Professors Baptist and Hyman, and questions to help guide readers through the materials and broader subject, this course reader will prepare students to think critically about the history of capitalism in America.
Author: Louis Hyman, Edward E. Baptist
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
From Cornell University Professors Louis Hyman and Edward E. Baptist, a collection of the most relevant readings on the history of capitalism in America, created to accompany their EdX course American Capitalism: A Reader. To understand the past and especially our own times, arguably no story is as essential to get right as the history of capitalism. Nearly all of our theories about promoting progress come from how we interpret the economic changes of the last 500 years. This past decade’s crises continue to remind us just how much capitalism changes, even as basic features like wage labor, financial markets, private property, and entrepreneurs endure. While capitalism has a global history, the United States plays a special role in that story. American Capitalism: A Reader will help you to understand how the United States became the world’s leading economic power, while revealing essential lessons about what has been and what will be possible in capitalism’s ongoing revolution. Combining a wealth of essential readings, introductions by Professors Baptist and Hyman, and questions to help guide readers through the materials and broader subject, this course reader will prepare students to think critically about the history of capitalism in America.
Americans tend to cast slavery as a pre-modern institution—the nation's original sin, perhaps, but isolated in time and divorced from America's later success. But to do so robs the millions who suffered in bondage of their full legacy. As historian Edward Baptist reveals in The Half Has Never Been Told, the expansion of slavery in the first eight decades after American independence drove the evolution and modernization of the United States. In the span of a single lifetime, the South grew from a narrow coastal strip of worn-out tobacco plantations to a continental cotton empire, and the United States grew into a modern, industrial, and capitalist economy. Until the Civil War, Baptist explains, the most important American economic innovations were ways to make slavery ever more profitable. Through forced migration and torture, slave owners extracted continual increases in efficiency from enslaved African Americans. Thus the United States seized control of the world market for cotton, the key raw material of the Industrial Revolution, and became a wealthy nation with global influence. Told through intimate slave narratives, plantation records, newspapers, and the words of politicians, entrepreneurs, and escaped slaves, The Half Has Never Been Told offers a radical new interpretation of American history. It forces readers to reckon with the violence at the root of American supremacy, but also with the survival and resistance that brought about slavery's end—and created a culture that sustains America's deepest dreams of freedom.
Author: Bhu Srinivasan
"A delightful tour through the businesses and industries that turned America into the biggest economy in the world. NOt only is the book written in a light and informative style, it is cleverly constructed. . . . THere is plenty of surprising detail. . . . AN excellent book."-The Economist "The historical parallels his work provokes are striking and illustrative, and modern innovators would benefit from looking more closely at how the past may inform their future."- Quartz "Bhu Srinivasan is an expert storyteller who deftly navigates the history of American innovation. IN a world preoccupied with Zuckerberg and Musk, he tells a series of bite-size narratives that are individually digestible yet comprehensive in their survey of capitalism, from that of ferry-captain Cornelius Vanderbilt to that of Samuel Morse, portrait-painter-turned-telegraph-inventor. PAinting the backdrop of four centuries of ingenuity, he reminds us how far America has come. A Great book."-Scott Hartley, venture capitalist and author of The Fuzzy and the Techie "In Americana, Bhu Srinivasan ranges widely and insightfully through the long, tangled history of capitalism and democracy in America. PRovocative and lucid, Americana deserves and rewards attention from citizens, present and future, of our troubled yet alluring nation."-Alan Taylor, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for The Internal Enemy "A wonderfully readable and entertaining panorama of the innovators and entrepreneurs who have shaped our history. LIvely and original, brimming with surprising details and full of brilliant insights, this is narrative history at its best."-Liaquat Ahamed, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Lords of Finance "A colorful, engaging, and incisive account of the evolving varieties of American capitalism told through the new technologies that drove it forward, the ideas that shaped it, the institutions that enabled it, the goods it produced, and the people who made and resisted it. IT is a book that is both personal and historically sweeping."-Richard White, finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Railroaded "[Srinivasan] is particularly insightful on cycles of technological revolution, as with Andrew Carnegie's innovations as a steel baron and the rise of the automobile industry. . . . SPryly and with just the right amount of circumstantial detail, Srinivasan places all this against the context of his own history in America. . . . A Smart, accessible contribution to the nation's economic history."-Kirkus "An informative, fluently written history. . . . AN intelligent survey of U.S. Business history. . . Accessible to a wide audience."-Library Journal
Author: Sven Beckert, Christine Desan
Publisher: Columbia University Press
The United States has long epitomized capitalism. From its enterprising shopkeepers, wildcat banks, violent slave plantations, huge industrial working class, and raucous commodities trade to its world-spanning multinationals, its massive factories, and the centripetal power of New York in the world of finance, America has come to symbolize capitalism for two centuries and more. But an understanding of the history of American capitalism is as elusive as it is urgent. What does it mean to make capitalism a subject of historical inquiry? What is its potential across multiple disciplines, alongside different methodologies, and in a range of geographic and chronological settings? And how does a focus on capitalism change our understanding of American history? American Capitalism presents a sampling of cutting-edge research from prominent scholars. These broad-minded and rigorous essays venture new angles on finance, debt, and credit; women’s rights; slavery and political economy; the racialization of capitalism; labor beyond industrial wage workers; and the production of knowledge, including the idea of the economy, among other topics. Together, the essays suggest emerging themes in the field: a fascination with capitalism as it is made by political authority, how it is claimed and contested by participants, how it spreads across the globe, and how it can be reconceptualized without being universalized. A major statement for a wide-open field, this book demonstrates the breadth and scope of the work that the history of capitalism can provoke.
Author: John Galbraith
In his new introduction to this classic text on political economy, Galbraith reasserts the validity of the core thesis of American Capitalism: The best and established answer to economic power is the building of countervailing power. The trade union remains an equalizing force in the labor markets, and the chain store is the best answer to the market power of big food companies. This work remains an essential guidepost of American mores as well as that as of the American economy.
Author: Louis Hyman
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Before the twentieth century, personal debt resided on the fringes of the American economy, the province of small-time criminals and struggling merchants. By the end of the century, however, the most profitable corporations and banks in the country lent money to millions of American debtors. How did this happen? The first book to follow the history of personal debt in modern America, Debtor Nation traces the evolution of debt over the course of the twentieth century, following its transformation from fringe to mainstream--thanks to federal policy, financial innovation, and retail competition. How did banks begin making personal loans to consumers during the Great Depression? Why did the government invent mortgage-backed securities? Why was all consumer credit, not just mortgages, tax deductible until 1986? Who invented the credit card? Examining the intersection of government and business in everyday life, Louis Hyman takes the reader behind the scenes of the institutions that made modern lending possible: the halls of Congress, the boardrooms of multinationals, and the back rooms of loan sharks. America's newfound indebtedness resulted not from a culture in decline, but from changes in the larger structure of American capitalism that were created, in part, by the choices of the powerful--choices that made lending money to facilitate consumption more profitable than lending to invest in expanded production. From the origins of car financing to the creation of subprime lending, Debtor Nation presents a nuanced history of consumer credit practices in the United States and shows how little loans became big business.
Capitalism in America
Author: Alan Greenspan, Adrian Wooldridge
From the legendary former Fed Chairman and the acclaimed Economist writer and historian, the full, epic story of America's evolution from a small patchwork of threadbare colonies to the most powerful engine of wealth and innovation the world has ever seen. Longlisted for the 2018 Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award From even the start of his fabled career, Alan Greenspan was duly famous for his deep understanding of even the most arcane corners of the American economy, and his restless curiosity to know even more. To the extent possible, he has made a science of understanding how the US economy works almost as a living organism--how it grows and changes, surges and stalls. He has made a particular study of the question of productivity growth, at the heart of which is the riddle of innovation. Where does innovation come from, and how does it spread through a society? And why do some eras see the fruits of innovation spread more democratically, and others, including our own, see the opposite? In Capitalism in America, Greenspan distills a lifetime of grappling with these questions into a thrilling and profound master reckoning with the decisive drivers of the US economy over the course of its history. In partnership with the celebrated Economist journalist and historian Adrian Wooldridge, he unfolds a tale involving vast landscapes, titanic figures, triumphant breakthroughs, enlightenment ideals as well as terrible moral failings. Every crucial debate is here--from the role of slavery in the antebellum Southern economy to the real impact of FDR's New Deal to America's violent mood swings in its openness to global trade and its impact. But to read Capitalism in America is above all to be stirred deeply by the extraordinary productive energies unleashed by millions of ordinary Americans that have driven this country to unprecedented heights of power and prosperity. At heart, the authors argue, America's genius has been its unique tolerance for the effects of creative destruction, the ceaseless churn of the old giving way to the new, driven by new people and new ideas. Often messy and painful, creative destruction has also lifted almost all Americans to standards of living unimaginable to even the wealthiest citizens of the world a few generations past. A sense of justice and human decency demands that those who bear the brunt of the pain of change be protected, but America has always accepted more pain for more gain, and its vaunted rise cannot otherwise be understood, or its challenges faced, without recognizing this legacy. For now, in our time, productivity growth has stalled again, stirring up the populist furies. There's no better moment to apply the lessons of history to the most pressing question we face, that of whether the United States will preserve its preeminence, or see its leadership pass to other, inevitably less democratic powers.
Author: Harry S. Stout
Publisher: Basic Books
The story of an ambitious family at the forefront of the great middle-class land grab that shaped early American capitalism American Aristocrats is a multigenerational biography of the Andersons of Kentucky, a family of strivers who passionately believed in the promise of America. Beginning in 1773 with the family patriarch, a twice-wounded Revolutionary War hero, the Andersons amassed land throughout what was then the American west. As the eminent religious historian Harry S. Stout argues, the story of the Andersons is the story of America's experiment in republican capitalism. Congressmen, diplomats, and military generals, the Andersons enthusiastically embraced the emerging American gospel of land speculation. In the process, they became apologists for slavery and Indian removal, and worried anxiously that the volatility of the market might lead them to ruin. Drawing on a vast store of Anderson family records, Stout reconstructs their journey to great wealth as they rode out the cataclysms of their time, from financial panics to the Civil War and beyond. Through the Andersons we see how the lure of wealth shaped American capitalism and the nation's continental aspirations.
Author: Rebecca Kobrin
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
At which moments and in which ways did Jews play a central role in the development of American capitalism? Many popular writers address the intersection of Jews and capitalism, but few scholars, perhaps fearing this question’s anti-Semitic overtones, have pondered it openly. Chosen Capital represents the first historical collection devoted to this question in its analysis of the ways in which Jews in North America shaped and were shaped by America’s particular system of capitalism. Jews fundamentally molded aspects of the economy during the century when American capital was being redefined by industrialization, war, migration, and the emergence of the United States as a superpower. Surveying such diverse topics as Jews’ participation in the real estate industry, the liquor industry, and the scrap metal industry, as well as Jewish political groups and unions bent on reforming American capital, such as the American Labor Party and the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union, contributors to this volume provide a new prism through which to view the Jewish encounter with America. The volume also lays bare how American capitalism reshaped Judaism itself by encouraging the mass manufacturing and distribution of foods like matzah and the transformation of synagogue cantors into recording stars. These essays force us to rethink not only the role Jews played in American economic development but also how capitalism has shaped Jewish life and Judaism over the course of the twentieth century. Contributors: Marni Davis, Georgia State University Phyllis Dillon, independent documentary producer, textile conservator, museum curator Andrew Dolkart, Columbia University Andrew Godley, Henley Business School, University of Reading Jonathan Karp, executive director, American Jewish Historical Society Daniel Katz, Empire State College, State University of New York Ira Katznelson, Columbia University David S. Koffman, New York University Eli Lederhendler, Hebrew University, Jerusalem Jonathan Z. S. Pollack, University of Wisconsin—Madison Jonathan D. Sarma, Brandeis University Jeffrey Shandler, Rutgers University Daniel Soyer, Fordham University
Hatred of Capitalism
Author: Chris Kraus, Sylvère Lotringer
Jean Baudrillard meets Cookie Mueller in this gathering of French theory and new American fiction.
When the Cold War ended, some people called it the “end of history.” Capitalism and liberal democracy had prevailed. Later, when the West clashed with radical Islam, Americans realized history hadn’t ended after all—at least not abroad. Now, in How Marx Can Save American Capitalism, Ronald W. Dworkin shows us that even the home front is in play and capitalism and liberal democracy are threatened. Dworkin uses Karl Marx to tip the balance in their favor—a paradox, as Marx was the sworn enemy of capitalism and liberal democracy, but also logical, as Marx knew the weak spots in capitalism and democracy better than anyone. In the past, capitalism’s weak spots were obvious: sweatshops, workhouses, and hunger. The twentieth century welfare state saved capitalism by fixing them. Today’s weak spots are less obvious; they don’t even seem related— mass loneliness, a declining birth rate, young people postponing adulthood, and workers using sleep aids to function on the job. Yet they pose the same risk to capitalism that child labor and horrid factory conditions once did. Marx’s ideas applied to contemporary America show how they are all of apiece. Saving capitalism demands a third way—not rigid Republican conservatism or blind Democratic state interventionism, but a new politics in which the state focuses laser-like on advanced capitalism’s unique threats to private life, while leaving much of the free market intact.
Calvin Schermerhorn's provocative study views the development of modern American capitalism through the window of the nineteenth-century interstate slave trade. This eye-opening history follows money and ships as well as enslaved human beings to demonstrate how slavery was a national business supported by far-flung monetary and credit systems reaching across the Atlantic Ocean. The author details the anatomy of slave supply chains and the chains of credit and commodities that intersected with them in virtually every corner of the pre–Civil War United States, and explores how an institution that destroyed lives and families contributed greatly to the growth of the expanding republic's capitalist economy.
Author: Sven Beckert, Seth Rockman
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
During the nineteenth century, the United States entered the ranks of the world's most advanced and dynamic economies. At the same time, the nation sustained an expansive and brutal system of human bondage. This was no mere coincidence. Slavery's Capitalism argues for slavery's centrality to the emergence of American capitalism in the decades between the Revolution and the Civil War. According to editors Sven Beckert and Seth Rockman, the issue is not whether slavery itself was or was not capitalist but, rather, the impossibility of understanding the nation's spectacular pattern of economic development without situating slavery front and center. American capitalism—renowned for its celebration of market competition, private property, and the self-made man—has its origins in an American slavery predicated on the abhorrent notion that human beings could be legally owned and compelled to work under force of violence. Drawing on the expertise of sixteen scholars who are at the forefront of rewriting the history of American economic development, Slavery's Capitalism identifies slavery as the primary force driving key innovations in entrepreneurship, finance, accounting, management, and political economy that are too often attributed to the so-called free market. Approaching the study of slavery as the originating catalyst for the Industrial Revolution and modern capitalism casts new light on American credit markets, practices of offshore investment, and understandings of human capital. Rather than seeing slavery as outside the institutional structures of capitalism, the essayists recover slavery's importance to the American economic past and prompt enduring questions about the relationship of market freedom to human freedom. Contributors: Edward E. Baptist, Sven Beckert, Daina Ramey Berry, Kathryn Boodry, Alfred L. Brophy, Stephen Chambers, Eric Kimball, John Majewski, Bonnie Martin, Seth Rockman, Daniel B. Rood, Caitlin Rosenthal, Joshua D. Rothman, Calvin Schermerhorn, Andrew Shankman, Craig Steven Wilder.
Allan Kulikoff's book aims to trace the rural origins and growth of capitalism in America, challenging earlier scholarship and aiming to chart a new course for future studies in history and economics. Kulikoff argues that long before the explosive growth of cities and big factories, capitalism in the countryside changes our society - the ties between men and women, the relations between different social classes, the rhetoric of the yeomanry, slave migration and frontier settlement.