Sunday, January 29, 2017

Over the Counter: Issue No. 32

On the "Age of Revolutions" blog, Bertie Mandelbrot discusses "Trans-Imperial Geographies of Rum Production and Circulation."

Very sorry to report the death last month of Ann Johnson (1965-2016), professor of Science and Technology Studies at Cornell University. Her research focused on the history of engineering and the way engineers work in a modern industrial society.

The "Atlas Obscura" blog features a story about Martha Matilda Harper, "The Greatest Businesswomen You've Never Heard Of," including commentary by Harper biographer Jane Plitt.

The German Historical Institute in Washington, D.C., has created a blog, "History of Knowledge"; its editors are Mark Stoneman and Kerstin von der Krone.

Roger Horowitz's book, Kosher USA, has been recognized by Choice as an Outstanding Academic Book for 2016, only 10 percent of the 7,000 books reviewed by Choice last year achieved this distinction. Kosher USA also has received the National Jewish Book Award in the category of American Jewish Studies from the Jewish Book Council. has a very nicely illustrated essay on the Dutch East India Company in Ceylon, based on Lodewijk Wagenaar’s book, Cinnamon and Elephants: Sri Lanka and the Netherlands from 1600.

In related news, Adam Matthew has recently published digitized records of the East India Company from 1599 to 1947. These are not open access, but may be viewed at sites with an institutional subscription.

Vicki Howard, author of From Main Street to Mall (University of Pennsylvania Press), writes about the current status of American shopping malls on the Penn Press blog.

On a similar topic, BBC Culture offers a brightly illustrated "History of the Department Store."

On the BHC's own website, book editor Eric Godelier has published the first in a series of essays "by Emerging Scholars that explain how a recently published book in business history has influenced their own research." The first contribution is by Dan Du, who writes about Frederic Delano Grant's 2014 book, The Chinese Cornerstone of Modern Banking: The Canton Guaranty System and the Origins of Bank Deposit Insurance, 1780-1933.

The IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) has a 6-part video series that explores key themes from the book Open Standards & the Digital Age by Andrew L. Russell.

Library digital material of note:
Over at Bloomberg News, Stephen Mihm has two posts that view current events through the lens of history: "Trump's Cabinet Gives New Meaning to 'Power Elite'," and "Congress Has the Power on Trade."

Also on free trade, on Ohio State's "Origins" blog, Aaron Cavin looks at "The Collapse of America's Free Trade Consensus" by considering the debate since World War I.

The Legal History Blog recently published a post highlighting Ed Balleisen's new book on fraud in American history, Fraud: An American History from Barnum to Madoff (Princeton University Press).

In conference news:
  • The program for a conference on "Economic Inequality in Preindustrial Europe," sponsored by the Dondena Centre at the University of Bocconi, can be viewed online.
  • A recent conference on "Region and Nation in American Histories of Race and Slavery" included a session on "Women and the Economy of Slavery in Early America." All the sessions of this conference were video recorded and can be found on the conference site.
  • The H-France Salon has links to videos of several sessions at recent Western Society for French History Conferences. Issue 17, on "Regime Change and Money," Issue 15, "The Circulation of Goods and Ideas in the Eighteenth-Century French Atlantic," and Issue 3, "Consumer Cultures and Material Goods in Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century France," are of specific interest.
Laurence Mussio, author of A Vision Greater than Themselves: The Making of the Bank of Montreal, 1817-2017 (McGill Queen University Press), joins BNN to discuss the bank's past.

A talk by William Goetzmann, Yale professor and author of Money Changes Everything: How Finance Made Civilization Possible (Princeton University Press), at the Museum of American Finance on the history of money is available on YouTube.

Archives Hub for January features archives of the Horrockses cotton firm, held by the Lancashire Archives.

Focusing on India, Chinmay Tumbe writes about "Why Business History Matters."

In the New York Review of Books, David Kaiser uses a very long, 2-part review essay (part 1; part 2) to discuss the fight between the Rockefeller Family Fund and ExxonMobil.

On "Uncommon Sense," the blog of the Omohundro Institute for Early American History and Culture, Keith Pluymers discusses his research on early American ironworks and transatlantic networks.