Monday, August 3, 2015

Over the Counter: Issue No. 18

Vicki Howard discusses her new book, From Main Street to Mall: The Rise and Fall of the American Department Store (University of Pennsylvania Press) with Ronald Sklar at "The Modern." She can also be heard discussing the book in this podcast on "Inside Charlottesville."

"Who Makes Cents" and Dissent magazine's "Belabored" podcast join forces to discuss the history of capitalism.

The Historical Mapping Atlas of Ireland has just been relaunched; the data contained within the on-line maps include Irish population change data for every decade between 1841 and 2002 and Irish famine data on population density, agriculture, and housing between 1841 and 1851.

The Imperial and Global Forum, the blog of the Centre for Imperial and Global History at the University of Exeter, published a post by Jamie Martin of Harvard University that received a good deal of cross-posting and comment: "The Colonial Origins of the Greek Bailout."

Thomas Piketty also weighed in on the Greek bailout crisis in an interview originally published in Die Zeit and translated for The Wire. Piketty argued bluntly for debt forgiveness rather than increasing stringency.
    Piketty's own work is analyzed by Maxim Pinkovskiy in a two-part essay in "Liberty Street Economics," the blog of the New York Federal Reserve Bank. The first is "By How Much Is r Greater than g?" The second is "Does More Capital Increase Inequality?"

H-Slavery has produced a "Topical Guide on Capitalism and Slavery in the United States." The guide was created by Stephen Leccese, a Ph.D. student in history at Fordham University, and circulated to H-Slavery subscribers for suggestions.

Barbara Hahn has published a review essay on Sven Beckert's Empire of Cotton and Edward Baptist's The Half Has Never Been Told in Agricultural History.

Dan Wadhwani provides a list of the Professional Development Workshops at the upcoming Academy of Management meeting that involve history and memory.

The Slate Vault presented a U.S. government pamphlet from 1918 on "Thrift Standards for Boys and Girls."

Mark Boonschoft, a post-doctoral fellow at the New York Public Library, has written "Letterbooks, Indexes, and Learning about Early American Business," which discusses the value of such materials for historians and students.

Mark Kenneth Gardner has a recent post on the Rhode Island history blog about colonial residents and taxation: " 'Money I have none': Colonial Rhode Island’s Tradition of Negotiating Their Taxes and the Coming of the American Revolution."

And over on Liz Covart's "Ben Franklin's World," two recent podcasts of interest: an interview with Eugene Tesdahl on "Smuggling in Colonial America and Living History"; and  one with Janice Fontanella on "Building the Erie Canal."

The program is now available for the upcoming conference, "The Global Bourgeoisie: The Rise of the Middle Classes in the Age of Empire," to be held at the University of Cambridge on August 27-29, 2015.

Harvard University Libraries have digitized Carlo de Fornaro's book of caricatures, Millionaires of America (1902). See here for a description.

Friday, July 31, 2015

SHOT 2015 Program and Registration Available

The 2015 SHOT (Society for the History of Technology) conference will be held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on October 8-11. Registration is now open, and the preliminary program has been posted. Of particular interest is a Roundtable that asks "What Role Should Technology Play in the History of Capitalism?" The organizers are W. Bernard Carlson and Jonathan Coopersmith; the discussants are Jonathan Coopersmith, Richard John, Stephen Mihm, and Barbara Hahn.
    Other sessions of interest include "Industry-Academic Relations in the Second Industrial Revolution"; "Rewiring Public and Private: Computing for Public Sector and Public Interest"; "Railroad Construction, Labor Regimes, and Commerce in the Portuguese and Colonial Frontier Zones"; "Constructing Foods and Creating Tastes: Histories of Foods in Transnational Perspectives"; and "Ordering Concepts of Information Technologies."
    The conference will also include a graduate student workshop and several special interest group (SIG) workshops. For more information, please consult the SHOT meeting website. Note that the early registration deadline is September 1, 2015.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Conference: “Beyond the New Deal Order”

"Beyond the New Deal Order" will meet at the University of California, Santa Barbara, on September 24-26, 2015, with the goal of re-examining the scholarship in The Rise and Fall of the New Deal Order, 1930-1980, edited by Gary Gerstle and Steve Fraser and published in 1989. According to the organizers,
Our conference, “Beyond the New Deal Order,” draws upon the new ways of thinking about politics, ideas, economy, gender, race and ethnicity, and the U.S. role in the world that have emerged in recent historical scholarship to interrogate the foundational suppositions put forward by Fraser, Gerstle and their co-authors more than a quarter century ago.  
In addition to Gerstle and Fraser, participants include--among many others--Jennifer Armiger, Eileen Boris, Angus Burgin, Jefferson Cowie, Meg Jacobs, Jennifer Klein, Nelson Lichtenstein, William Novak, Alice O'Connor, Ellen Shermer, David Stebenne, Thomas Sugrue, and Mark Wilson. The conference program is available here.
     The conference is hosted by the Center for the Study of Work, Labor, and Democracy at the University of California, Santa Barbara. For more details about the meeting, please see the conference website.

Monday, July 27, 2015

World Economic History Congress, 2015: Final Program Now On-Line

The XVIIth World Economic History Congress (WEHC) will take place next week, August 3-7, in Kyoto, Japan. The conference website now contains the complete program, as well as links to abstracts and papers. Readers can consult the full conference booklet or the program overview, which lists session titles, organizers, and times. Full session listings with presenters, as well as the links to abstracts and papers, may be found using the WEHC on-line search system.
    For complete details about the conference, please consult the WEHC website. Note that the next WEHC will be held in 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Books of Interest: Mid-Summer Edition

A list, by no means complete, of books in business and economic history published or forthcoming between May and September 2015:
Edward J. Balleisen, Business Regulation (Edward Elgar, August 2015)
Marco Bertilorenzi, The International Aluminium Cartel: The Business and Politics of a Cooperative Industrial Institution (1886-1978) (Routledge, September 2015)
Howard Bodenhorn, The Color Factor: The Economics of African-American Well-Being in the Nineteenth-Century South (Oxford University Press, June 2015)
Dan Bouk, How Our Days Became Numbered: Risk and the Rise of the Statistical Individual (University of Chicago Press, May 2015)
William Boyd, The Slain Wood: Papermaking and Its Environmental Consequences in the American South (Johns Hopkins University Press, September 2015)
Martin Campbell Kelly and Daniel D. Garcia-Swartz, From Mainframes to Smartphones: A History of the International Computer Industry (Harvard University Press, June 2015)
Christy Ford Chapin, Ensuring America's Health: The Public Creation of the Corporate Health Care System (Cambridge University Press, June 2015)
William J. Collins and Robert Margo, eds., Enterprising America: Businesses, Banks, and Credit Markets in Historical Perspective (University of Chicago Press, September 2015)
Sean Condon, Shays's Rebellion: Authority and Distress in Post-Revolutionary America (Johns Hopkins University Press, May 2015)
Peter Earle, The Earles of Liverpool: A Georgian Merchant Dynasty (Oxford University Press, August 2015)
Ronald P. Formisano, Plutocracy: How Increasing Inequality Destroys the Middle Class and Exploits the Poor (Johns Hopkins University Press, August 2015)
Heather A. Haveman, Magazines and the Making of America: Modernization, Community, and Print Culture, 1741–1860 (Princeton University Press, September 2015)
Philip T. Hoffman, Why Did Europe Conquer the World? (Princeton University Press, June 2015)
Vicki Howard, From Main Street to Mall: The Rise and Fall of the American Department Store (University of Pennsylvania Press, May 2015)
Faye M. Kert, Privateering: Patriots and Profits in the War of 1812 (Johns Hopkins University Press, August 2015)
Paul Lerner, The Consuming Temple: Jews, Department Stores, and the Consumer Revolution in Germany, 1880–1940 (Cornell University Press, May 2015)
Lars Magnusson, The Political Economy of Mercantilism (Routledge, June 2015)
Brian Phillips Murphy, Building the Empire State: Political Economy in the Early

Republic (University of Pennsylvania Press, May 2015)
Jeroen Puttevils, Merchants and Trading in the Sixteenth Century: The Golden Age of Antwerp (Pickering & Chatto, June 2015)
J. Andrew Ross, Joining the Clubs: The Business of the National Hockey League to 1945 (Syracuse University Press, May 2015)

Andy Serwer, et al., American Enterprise: A History of Business in America (Smithsonian Books, July 2015)
Peter A. Shulman, Coal and Empire: The Birth of Energy Security in Industrial America (Johns Hopkins University Press, June 2015)
Germain Sicard, The Origins of Corporations: The Mills of Toulouse in the Middle Ages (Yale University Press, August 2015)
David Todd, Free Trade and Its Enemies in France, 1814-1851 (Cambridge University Press, June 2015)
For cumulative book listings, please see the "Books of Interest" section of the BHC website.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Web Resource: Bankruptcy and Insolvency in History

The University of Birmingham Business School has launched a new website on "Re-Doing Business: Bankruptcy and Insolvency in History, Theory, and Policy-Making."
According to the website,
this project offers an alternative approach to the study of insolvency and bankruptcy. The aim is to forge a network of European scholars to analyse these issues with an approach that has three important elements of originality: a long-term view, a comparative perspective, and a focus on practices and enforcement mechanisms rather than simply on formal features of legislation.  
This website is designed to act as an information hub for anybody interested in these issues, by providing up-dated links and original material on four areas: the "doing business" report; legislative changes in various countries; the economic literature on insolvency and bankruptcy; and the history of bankruptcy and insolvency. The project is a combined effort by scholars at the University of Birmingham, the Bulgarian Academy of Science, the Università degli Studi di Siena, and the Université Paris Ouest, Nanterre - La Défense, with support from the Leverhulme Trust.
    For further information regarding this research project,  please contact Paolo Di Martino.

Monday, July 20, 2015


The 2016 Asia Pacific Economic and Business History (APEBH) Conference will be held in Adelaide, Australia, on February 11-13; it will be hosted by the School of Economics at the University of Adelaide. The theme of the meeting is "Wine, Wheat and Copper? Resource booms and busts: agriculture, mining and the wider economy in historical and comparative perspective." According to the call for papers:
[The] varying importance of agriculture and mining, their booms and busts, is not only a contemporary phenomenon but has been one of the main aspects of Australia’s economic and industrial development for the last two centuries. . . . Resource booms and busts also shaped international trading arrangements and exchange rate effects caused by rapid development in one sector influenced the other and the economy as a whole. The impact of the recent mining-related appreciation and depreciation of the Australian dollar on agricultural production illustrates this mechanism. Other examples for such interconnected effects are the development of regulations about land ownership and water use, urbanization processes and the resulting demand for food, the rise of heavy industry and the respective impact on labour markets.
    For a fuller description and submission information, please consult the complete call for papers. The deadline for all proposals is November 15, 2015. To follow information about the APEBH meeting, please check the conference website.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Resources at the SHEAR Annual Meeting

"Mouth of the Arkansas," c. 1845-6-7, Henry Lewis
The annual meeting of SHEAR (the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic) got under way yesterday in Raleigh, North Carolina. The conference website features a section on "Panel Resources," where panelists can post information relevant to their presentations. One of the sessions of interest (see here for a more detailed list) is "Capital, Space, and Culture: New Approaches to the Political Economy of the Early Republic"; presenters in that session have posted short versions of their papers in the resource section. Members of another panel, "Teaching Capitalism in Early America," have created a "resource archive" website for their session that includes syllabi and class assignments.
    The full meeting schedule can be found on the conference website.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

CHORD Conference Program and Abstracts Posted

The 2015 CHORD (Centre for the History of Retail and Distribution) conference will be held at the University of Wolverhampton on September 10. The program and abstracts for the meeting have now been posted on the CHORD website.
    On-line registration is also available, as well as lodging and meeting details. For further information, please e-mail: Laura Ugolini at or Karin Dannehl at

Monday, July 13, 2015

New Collection on Business Regulation Published

Readers interested in the history of business regulation may want to make their libraries aware of the three-volume collection out next month from Edward Elgar Publishing: Business Regulation is edited by Edward J. Balleisen of Duke University. Priced for the institutional market, the set
conveys leading scholarly ideas on modern regulatory governance since 1871. The first two volumes lay out the rationales for and critiques of technocratic governance in industrialized societies. They trace the evolution of regulatory institutions, highlighting the most recent era of globalization, deregulation, privatization and regulatory innovation. The third volume presents influential frameworks for understanding regulatory culture in action, assessing the impacts of regulatory policies, and explaining regulatory change.
The table of contents is available on the Edward Elgar site.
    In addition to his position in the History Department at Duke, Balleisen is vice provost for Interdisciplinary Studies there and is the new director of the BHC's Doctoral Colloquium. He is also the director of the Rethinking Regulation Project, sponsored by Duke's Kenan Institute for Ethics, where he is a senior fellow. This project brings together faculty and graduate students from across the university who are interested in regulatory policy and strategies of regulatory governance.