Monday, July 16, 2018

EBHA 2018 Draft Program Has Been Posted

The 22nd Annual Congress of the European Business History Association (EBHA) will meet on September 6-8, 2018, in Ancona, Italy; the theme will be "The Firm and the Sea: Chains, Flows and Connections." The preliminary program has now been posted, and presenters have begun to upload their papers. In addition to the many regular sessions, the program includes a dissertation prize session as well as a keynote speech by Gelina Harlaftis on "The Relation to the Sea: Maritime Business in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea."
    For logistical details about accommodation, venues, and registration, please consult the meeting website. Note that online registration (at a reduced rate) ends on July 30, 2018.

Friday, July 13, 2018

CFP: “Development of Financial Centres in Europe”

A one-day graduate student conference on “The development of financial centres in Europe, 1300–1700” will be held at Queen’s College, Cambridge, on September 27, 2018, to honor the work of the late Peter Spufford. According to the call for papers:
The aim of this conference is to bring together young scholars to reflect on state-of-art scholarship on this subject, and explore new hypotheses on the characters, inner dynamics and evolution of financial centres in Europe. The conference’s organization therefore invites submissions for presentations. . . . Papers directly connected to any financial, economic, monetary or numismatic themes explored by Peter Spufford in his oeuvre and comparative approaches are especially welcome. 
Interested graduate students are asked to send an abstract for a 20-minute presentation (max. 400 words, including contact details and affiliation) and an academic CV (max. 2 pages) to Jacopo Sartori at The deadline for proposals is August 12, 2018.
      Subject to availability, accommodation will be provided for speakers, and an effort will be made to subsidize travel costs. The conference has received support from the Economic History Society, the Royal Historical Society, the Centre for Financial History (Cambridge), and Queens’ College (Cambridge).

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

CHORD 2018 Program and Abstracts Now Posted

The Centre for the History of Retailing and Distribution (CHORD) will hold its annual meeting at Wolverhampton City Campus on September 13, 2018. The theme of the meeting is "Retailing and Distribution in the Eighteenth Century." The program, accompanied by abstracts of the papers, has now been posted. On-line registration is open; please consult the meeting website for additional information. Questions may be addressed to Laura Ugolini at

Monday, July 9, 2018

June 2018: Business Historians in the News

Recent examples of business historians in the general media:
Catching up with several author interviews of interest on "The Page 99 Test":
  • Amanda PorterfieldCorporate Spirit: Religion and the Rise of the Modern Corporation
  • Adam WinklerWe the Corporations: How American Businesses Won Their Civil Rights
  • Harvey G. CohenWho's in the Money? The Great Depression Musicals and Hollywood's New Deal
  • Michael Zakim, Accounting for Capitalism: The World the Clerk Made
And others in The History section of "The New Books Network" podcasts:
  • André Magnan, When Wheat Was King: The Rise and Fall of the Canada-UK Grain Trade
  • Christy Ford Chapin, Ensuring America's Health: The Public Creation of the Corporate Health Care System
  • Anna Zeide, Canned: The Rise and Fall of Consumer Confidence in the American Food Industry
  • Fahad Bishara, A Sea of Debt: Law and Economic Life in the Western Indian Ocean, 1780-1950
In a brief article, the Financial Times features work by Robert Allen and Jane Humphries in "UK economists look to industrial revolution for productivity hint." [may be behind paywall]

Gavin Benke writes about "Elon Musk, Enron, and the Imperial Corporation" on the "Tropics of Meta blog. He also has a post on the Penn Press blog on the topic "Corporate Strategy and the Politics of Climate Change," drawing out research from his new book, Risk and Ruin: Enron and the Culture of American Capitalism.

On the "Public Books" blog, Mehrsa Baradaran is interviewed about her book, The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap, in a post entitled "Black Banks Can't Fix Racial Capitalism."

In the Washington Post's "Made by History" series, Elizabeth Tandy Shermer argues that "The dissent in Janus shows that liberal justices are finally on the side of the working class." [may be behind paywall]

For a late June congressional briefing organized by the National History Center on the history of U.S. trade policy, the speakers were Susan Aaronson, George Washington University, and Alfred Eckes, Jr., Ohio University. Marc Levinson of the Congressional Research Service moderated. The video of the briefing likely will be posted here shortly.

Friday, July 6, 2018

CFP: “Colonial Cities in Global Perspective”

The Global History Network, the Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar, the Foundation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme in Paris, and the Institute of Advanced Study in Saint-Louis seek papers for a conference on “Colonial Cities in Global Perspective,” to be held in Saint-Louis, Senegal, from December 10-12, 2018. According to the call for papers:
We seek papers that will examine coastal colonial cities in a comparative framework. Appropriate topics include patterns of settlement and spatial organization; administration, policing, sanitation and evolving economic profiles; labor and workers’ collective action; colonial cities’ position in global trade networks and their importance to the expansion of capitalism; trade links between urban and rural domains of production and consumption; formal and informal relations between ethnic communities; patterns of leadership and urban organization; distinctive cultural production; and historical legacies for post-colonial states.
For a detailed discussion of the conference theme, please consult the full call for papers. Interested scholars should submit a single combined doc or pdf file including an abstract of no more than 500 words, along with a brief CV, to with the subject line “ColonialCities2018” by August 1, 2018. The abstract can be in French or English, though we prefer English. Please include your paper title, name, and affiliation in the body of the email.
     Advanced research students as well as senior scholars are invited to apply for the conference. Travel costs will be covered for all invited presenters (one author only of co-authored papers).
    A French version of the call for papers may be found here.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

CFP: GHI's “Transmission of Financial Knowledge”

The German Historical Institute (GHI) has issued a call for papers for a conference on “The Transmission of Financial Knowledge in Historical Perspective, 1840–1940,” to be held at the GHI in Washington, D.C., on March 8-9, 2019. The convenors are Nicholas Osborne (Ohio University) and Atiba Pertilla (GHI Washington). The call for papers states:
. . . “financial knowledge” encompasses how people teach, learn, and think about a variety of financial behaviors, from saving and investing to borrowing and spending. The conference takes as its starting point the idea that the transmission of financial knowledge, whether concepts like “family budgets,” practices such as the use of “pin money,” or folk wisdom about the nature of risk-taking, takes multiple forms, from everyday conversation and personal correspondence to mass journalism and works of fiction. . . .
The organizers seek to bring together studies that address “how financial knowledge (whether accurate, false, or dubious) is promulgated and circulates at the local, national, and international levels, as well as its role in the creation of the modern economic order” from the global financial crises of the Panic of 1837 to the Great Depression.
   Scholars interested in presenting a chapter- or article-length paper at the conference are invited to send a brief abstract of 250–300 words as well as a short CV by August 1, 2018, to Susanne Fabricius ( by email with the subject line “Financial Knowledge.” For more details, please see the complete call for papers.

Monday, July 2, 2018

SHOT 2018 Preliminary Program Available

The Society for the History of Technology (SHOT) will hold its 2018 annual meeting in St. Louis, Missouri, on October 11-14. The theme of the meeting will be "Gateways: Passages, Openings, and Enclosures in the History of Technology." The preliminary program is now available on the meeting website.
   Registration is now open and may be completed online; note that fees will increase after August 31, 2018. For more details, please consult the SHOT website.

Friday, June 29, 2018

WEHC 2018 Update: Special Sessions and Plenaries

The final program of the World Economic History Congress, meeting in Boston on July 29-August3, 2018, is now up on the WEHC website. In addition to the many sessions, there will be three plenaries (plus the IEHA General Meeting):
  • Sevket Pamuk will speak at the opening plenary on "Waves of Globalization and the Economic Historian."
  • Thomas Piketty will give a keynote lecture on "Rising Inequality and the Changing Structure of Political Conflict."
  • Jane Humphries and Claudia Goldin will speak at the closing plenary on "The Role of Women in Economic Growth": Humphries on "From the Wings to Centre Stage: Women and Economic Growth and Structural Change in Europe during the Pre-Industrial and Industrial Eras," and Goldin on "A Long Road: The Quest for Career and Family." Jan De Vries will serve as discussant.
The Congress will also include special sessions on specific book titles, dissertation competition sessions, and two poster sessions. The program brochure provides a great deal of additional information about the Congress, including links to the abstracts for each session. For complete Congress details, please see the WEHC website. Note that pre-conference registration ends on July 15.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

NEPHIS Review of E&S Article and Free Access

This week in the NEPHIS blog, Helena Varkkey (University of Malaya) comments on "The Emergence of an Export Cluster: Traders and Palm Oil in Early Twentieth-Century Southeast Asia" by Valeria Giacomin (Harvard-Newcomen Fellow in Business History), Enterprise and Society 19, (June 2018): 272-308. The editors of Enterprise & Society have made this article freely available for a limited time; the link is also available on the NEPHIS blog site.

Monday, June 25, 2018

CFP: Economic History Society 2019

The 2019 conference of the Economic History Society (EHS) will be held on April 5-7 at Queen's University Belfast. The conference program committee welcomes proposals on all aspects of economic and social history covering a wide range of periods and countries, and particularly welcomes papers of an interdisciplinary nature. The committee invites proposals for individual papers, as well as for entire sessions of 1.5-2 hours duration.
    Papers should be submitted online via the link on the meeting website. For additional information, including details for submitting proposals for the "new researcher" sessions, please consult the EHS meeting website. The deadline for both regular and "new researcher" proposals is September 3, 2018.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Digital Resource: “Runaway Slaves in Britain” Database

The "Runaway Slaves in Eighteenth-Century Britain" project has created a searchable database of well over eight hundred newspaper advertisements placed by masters and owners seeking the capture and return of enslaved and bound people who had escaped. Many were of African descent, though a small number were from the Indian sub-continent and a few were Indigenous Americans. The principal sources for this project are English and Scottish newspapers published between 1700 and 1780. Although some have been digitized, the poor quality of surviving newsprint makes digital text searching unreliable, so project researchers have surveyed thousands of newspaper issues in archives all over Britain, some in their original print form as well as many more on microfilm or digital form. The database contains full transcriptions of the advertisements, and when possible photographic reproductions.
     The project is a product of the Department of History at the University of Glasgow, headed by Simon Newman; participating members include Stephen Mullen, Nelson Mundell, and Roslyn Chapman.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

CFP: Agricultural History Society 2019

The 100th anniversary meeting of the Agricultural History Society will be held in Washington, D.C., on June 6-8, 2019; the theme will be “ Power in Agricultural History.” According to the call for papers,
Power, in its multiple guises—whether political, social, economic, or physical—is embedded in every aspect of agricultural production, food and fiber marketing and consumption, and rural society and culture. The organizing theme is meant to encourage historians who refuse to accept that the current and future conditions of farms, food systems, and rural society and culture are the result of autonomous logics.
Session proposals should include a two-hundred-word abstract for each paper and a one-page CV for each panel member; individual paper proposals should consist of a two-hundred-word abstract and a one-page CV. All proposals should be submitted electronically in MS Word format to the program committee by email at: Deadline for submissions is September 28, 2018. For the full call for papers, please see the AHS website.
    Questions may be addressed to Shane Hamilton, the program committee chair, at

Monday, June 18, 2018

EHA 2018 Program Has Been Posted

The Economic History Association (EHA) is meeting in Montreal, Canada, on September 7-9, 2018; the preliminary program has now been posted as a webpage, with more details available in the brochure version.  The theme of the meeting is “ 'From Plague, Famine, and War, Save us, O Lord': Shocks and Disasters in Economic History.” In addition to regular sessions, there will also be a plenary chaired by Gregory Clark on “Deaths of Despair and the Failure of American Capitalism,” featuring Anne Case and Angus Deaton of Princeton University, and Cormac O’Grada will present his presidential address, titled “The Next World and the New World: Relief, Migration, and the Great Irish Famine.”
    The EHA conference website also includes registration, transportation, and lodging information. Note that pre-registration will close on August 15. Questions may be addressed to Jari Eloranta, EHA meeting coordinator, at

Friday, June 15, 2018

Over the Counter, No. 41

News of interest from around the web:

On BackStory radio, a new program on "The Shock of the New: The Legacy of the 1893 World's Fair" in Chicago; among those interviewed: Bernard Carlson and Robert Rydell.

Sharon Murphy can be heard discussing her current research on slavery and banking on Rhode Island Public Radio.

A short interview with Harry Stout about his book, American Aristocrats: A Family, a Fortune, and the Making of American Capitalism, with John Fea on his blog, "The Way of Improvement Leads Home."

The Business History Review is offering free access to a collection of "Editors' Picks" articles.

Interesting online exhibition at the James Ford Bell Library at the University of Minnesota: "Trade and Commerce in 17th-Century England: Proclamations." 

Tiffany Gill, associate professor of Africana Studies and History at the University of Delaware, has been named the school's inaugural Cochran Scholar.

At this spring's OAH meeting, a number of prizes were awarded for works of interest to business historians:
Courtney Fullilove received an honorable mention for the Frederick Jackson Turner Award (for a first scholarly book dealing with some aspect of American history) for The Profit of the Earth: The Global Seeds of American Agriculture;
Richard White won the Ellis W. Hawley Prize (for the best book-length historical study of the political economy, politics, or institutions of the United States, in its domestic or international affairs, from the Civil War to the present) for The Republic for Which It Stands: The United States during Reconstruction and the Gilded Age, 1865–1896;
Alexandra J. Finley was awarded the Lerner-Scott Prize (for for the best doctoral dissertation in U.S. women’s history) for "Blood Money: Sex, Family, and Finance in the Antebellum Slave Trade";
Robert Lee received the Binkley-Stephenson Award (for the best article that appeared in the Journal of American History during the preceding calendar year) for "Accounting for Conquest: The Price of the Louisiana Purchase of Indian Country" (March 2017);
Katherine Carper was awarded the John Higham Research Fellowship (for graduate students writing doctoral dissertations for a Ph.D. in American history) for her study of "The Business of Migration, 1830–1880."
In other prize news, Eli Cook has been awarded the Society for U.S. Intellectual History's 2017 prize for the best book in the field for his The Pricing of Progress: Economic Indicators and the Capitalization of American Life.

The Library of Congress has announced the digitization of the Woodrow Wilson Papers (the press release; the papers themselves are here). The LOC has recently digitized several other important collections, including the papers of U.S. presidents James Buchanan, Ulysses S. Grant, Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce and James K. Polk, and the papers of Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, Susan B. Anthony, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

For BBC radio, The Economist's Soumaya Keynes shares experiences with Harvard's Claudia Goldin about women in the economics profession.

A number of conference programs have items of interest:
  • The 24th annual conference of the Omohundro Institute for Early American History and Culture (OIEAHC), which marks the Institute's 75th anniversary, is taking place in Williamsburg, Virginia, on June 14-17, 2018. The program, now available on the conference website, contains several sessions of interest, particularly session 36, a roundtable on "Approaching the History of American Capitalism from Early America," moderated by Emma Hart with discussion by Cathy Matson, Margaret Newell, Christopher Tomlins, and Simon Middleton.
  • The Adolf A. Berle, Jr. Center on Corporations, Law, & Society at the Seattle University School of Law held its annual symposium on May 17-18, 2018. Berle X, celebrating a decade of such meetings, focused specifically on aspects of Berle's works and the world in which his work was developed. The program, available online, includes papers by Eric Hilt, Frank Partnoy, Andrew Smith, Jason Russell, and Kevin Tennent, and Jesse Tarbart.
  • The Institute for Historical Research is hosting a one-day conference on "Negotiating Networks," focusing on networks in social and economic history, on June 25, 2018; the program is here
  • A conference on "Women, Money, and Markets (1700-1900)" was held at the University of Amsterdam on June  7-8, 2018; the program is here.
  • The Canadian Historical Society 2018 annual meeting was held in Regina, Saskatchewan, on May 28-30; the program is available here.
The Cambridge Group for the History of  Population and Social Structure has a new website, "Populations Past," an online interactive atlas of Victorian and Edwardian population.

A recent post on "O Say Can You See?" (the blog of the National Museum of American History), examines Alexander Hamilton and the lace industry in Ipswich, Massachusetts. For other business history posts on this blog, see here.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

“Who Makes Cents“ Update

Readers who have not visited the "Who Makes Cents?" podcast site for some time will find a number of interviews of interest; for example,
Beginning in April 2018, new episodes are also available on the Verso blog.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Web Exhibit: “The Transcontinental Railroad”

The "Transcontinental Railroad" website was created by the Linda Hall Library with support from the BNSF (Burlington Northern Santa Fe) Foundation. It offers visitors a brief history of the building of the transcontinental railroad, as well as general information on the history and technology of nineteenth-century railroads. Most important, it offers full text access to the Linda Hall Library’s extensive collection of nineteenth-century railroad periodicals.
    Check here for more digital exhibits from the Linda Hall Library, which specializes in materials related to science, engineering, and technology.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Book Reviews of Interest, Winter/Spring 2018 Edition

A selection of (ungated) reviews of books in business and economic history:
Charles O'Kelley reviews Naomi Lamoreaux and William Novak, eds., Corporations and American Democracy, for Jotwell.

Loïc Bonneval reviews Alexia Yates, Selling Paris: Property and Commercial Capital in the Fin-de-Siècle Capital, for Books and Ideas.

J. W. Mason reviews Mark R. Wilson, Destructive Creation: American Business and the Winning of World War II, for Dissent.

Jason DeParle reviews Richard Rothstein, The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America, for the New York Review of Books.

Diane Coyle reviews William Deringer, Calculated Values: Finance, Politics, and the Quantitative Age, for her "Enlightened Economist" blog.

Chris Corker reviews Paolo Di Martino, Andrew Popp and Peter Scott, eds., People, Places and Business Cultures: Essays in Honour of Francesca Carnevali, for EH.Net.

Gail Triner reviews Kurt Mettenheim, Monetary Statecraft in Brazil, 1808-2014, for EH.Net.

Claude Diebolt reviews Joel Mokyr, A Culture of Growth: The Origins of the Modern Economy, for EH.Net.

Claire Brennecke reviews Janet Knodell, The Second Bank of the United States: “Central” Banker in an Era of Nation-Building, 1816-1836, for EH.Net.

Timothy Guinnane reviews Marco H.D. Van Leeuwen, Mutual Insurance, 1550-2015: From Guild Welfare and Friendly Societies to Contemporary Micro-Insurers, for EH.Net.

François Gipouloux reviews Xing Hang, Conflict and Commerce in Maritime East Asia: The Zheng Family and the Shaping of the Modern World, c. 1620-1720, for EH.Net.

Tyler Beck Goodspeed reviews Sharon Ann Murphy, Other People's Money: How Banking Worked in the Early American Republic, for EH.Net.

Carole Shammas reviews Cary Carson, Face Value: The Consumer Revolution and the Colonizing of America, for EH.Net.

Alfred E. Eckes reviews Douglas A. Irwin, Clashing over Commerce: A History of U.S. Trade Policy, for EH.Net.

Geoffrey Wood reviews David Kynaston, Till Time's Last Sand: A History of the Bank of England 1694-2013, for Reviews in History.

Matthew Daley reviews J. Anne Funderburg, Rumrunners: Liquor Smugglers on America's Coasts, 1920-1933, for H-FedHist.

Jennifer Delton reviews Timothy L. Fort, The Diplomat in the Corner Office: Corporate Foreign Policy, for H-FedHist.

Dael Norwood reviews Kendall A. Johnson, The New Middle Kingdom: China and the Early American Romance of Free Trade, for H-Diplo.

G. Patrick O'Brien reviews John Wareing, Indentured Migration and the Servant Trade from London to America, 1618-1718, for H-Early-America.

Nicole Welk-Joerger reviews Kendra Smith-Howard, Pure and Modern Milk: An Environmental History since 1900, for H-Envirohealth.

Tirthankar Roy reviews Paul Arthur Van Dyke, Merchants of Canton and Macao: Success and Failure in Eighteenth-Century Chinese Trade, for H-Asia.

Kate McMahon reviews Christy Clark-Pujara, Dark Work: The Business of Slavery in Rhode Island, for H-Slavery.

Chris Evans reviews Richard Follett, Sven Beckert, Peter Coclanis, and Barbara Hahn, Plantation Kingdom: The American South and Its Global Commodities, for H-Slavery.

Francesca Bray reviews Courtney Fullilove, The Profit of the Earth: The Global Seeds of American Agriculture, for H-Sci-Med-Tech.

Patrick Jones reviews Joshua Clark Davis, From Headshops to Whole Foods: The Rise and Fall of Activist Entrepreneurs, for H-1960s.

Brendan J. Payne reviews Darren E. Grem, The Blessings of Business: How Corporations Shaped Conservative Christianity, for H-South.

William A. Morgan reviews Dale W. Tomich, Slavery in the Circuit of Sugar: Martinique and the World-Economy, 1830-1848, for H-LatAm.

Philip Levy reviews Edward G. Lengel, First Entrepreneur: How George Washington Built His--and the Nation's--Prosperity, for H-War.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Program Available: SHEAR 2018 Meeting

The Society for Historians of the Early American Republic (SHEAR) will hold its annual meeting in Cleveland, Ohio, on July 19-22, 2018. The preliminary program has now been posted online. In addition to the many individual papers on business and economic history, readers of this blog may be particularly interested in
Session 12, "Labor Markets Created By, For, and In Women," chaired by Ellen Hartigan-O'Connor
Session 17, "States of Speculation: Western Lands and the Forging and Fracturing of the Early Republic," chaired by Christopher Clark
Session 22, "Morality and Markets: Regulating Capitalism in the Early Republic," chaired by Whitney Martinko
Session 27, "Metal, Machinery, and Manpower: Free and Coerced Labor in the Early Industrial South," chaired by Frank Byrne
Session 46, "Family, Labor, and Capitalism," chaired by Scott Sandage
Sesson 52, "Financial Opportunity and Adversity in the Not-So-Old South," chaired by Matthew Schoenbachler
   Those interested in attending should note that the special SHEAR rate for hotel reservations expires on June 28 and that online registration for the meeting closes on July 5; on-site registration will incur a $30 additional fee.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Web Exhibit: “Gardening as Enterprise”

The Smithsonian Institution has launched a new exhibition titled "Cultivating America's Gardens," which will run in its physical form through August 2018. In addition to displaying many beautiful images, the online component of the exhibition has a section called "Gardening as Enterprise." The segment covers selling seeds and plant breeding and features many illustrations of seed catalogs and trade cards.
    Those with a special interest in this topic might also take a look at the Smithsonian's main seed and nursery catalog site, as well as its "American Seed and Nursery Industry" page, which provides bibliographies and biographical information about many in that industry.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Resources: U.S. Research Fellowships from Scholarly Organizations

Most major U.S. research libraries and centers have fellowship programs; in the United States, meta-lists include the Association of Research Libraries membership list and the National Archives list of presidential libraries; see also "Research Grants at Presidential Libraries." Looking ahead to the 2019-2020 academic year, we provide a (very) partial listing of major research organizations that offer fellowships.
American Antiquarian Society Fellowships
American Philosophical Society Fellowships
Baker Library Fellowships, Harvard Business School
Bancroft Library Fellowships, University of California Berkeley
Beinecke Library Fellowships, Yale University
Clements Library Fellowships, University of Michigan
David Library of the American Revolution Fellowships
Folger Shakespeare Library Fellowships
Hagley Museum and Library Fellowships
Harry Ransom Center Fellowships, University of Texas Austin
Houghton Library Fellowships, Harvard University
Huntington Library Fellowships
James Ford Bell Library Fellowships, University of Minnesota
John Carter Brown Library Fellowships
Library Company of Philadelphia Fellowships
Library of Congress Kluge Fellowship
Linda Hall Library Fellowships
Newberry Library Fellowships
New York Public Library (multiple fellowships)
Peabody Essex Museum Malamy Fellowship
Rubenstein Library Fellowships, Duke University (including Hartman Center)
Smithsonian Fellowships
Wilson Library, UNC Chapel Hill
Two other resources for research funding in specific repositories are meta-lists of state historical societies and state archives.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

New in Paperback: Spring 2018 Edition

This listing covers books published from January through May 2018. The listing does not include books published simultaneously in hardcover and paper.

Mehrsa Baradaran, How the Other Half Banks: Exclusion, Exploitation, and the Threat to Democracy (Harvard University Press, March 2018 [2015])

Sven Beckert and Seth Rockman, eds., Slavery's Capitalism: A New History of American Economic Development (University of Pennsylvania Press, January 2018 [2016])

Dan Bouk, How Our Days Became Numbered: Risk and the Rise of the Statistical Individual (University of Chicago Press, February 2018 [2015])

Christy Clark-Pujara, Dark Work: The Business of Slavery in Rhode Island (New York University Press, March 2018 [2016])

George Colpitts, Pemmican Empire: Food, Trade, and the Last Bison Hunts in the North American Plains, 1780–1882 (Cambridge University Press, March 2018 [2014])

Leon Fink, The Long Gilded Age: American Capitalism and the Lessons of a New World Order (University of Pennsylvania Press, March 2018 [2014])

Philip S. Foner, Organized Labor and the Black Worker (Haymarket Books, January 2018 [1974])

Stephen G. Gross, Export Empire: German Soft Power in Southeastern Europe, 1890–1945 (Cambridge University Press, February 2018 [2016])

Roger Horowitz, Kosher USA: How Coke Became Kosher and Other Tales of Modern Food (Columbia University Press, May 2018 [2016])

Peter Knight, Reading the Market: Genres of Financial Capitalism in Gilded Age America (Johns Hopkins University Press, February 2018 [2016])

Jürgen Kocka and Marcel van der Linden, Capitalism: The Reemergence of a Historical Concept (Bloomsbury Academic, February 2018 [2016]))

Joel Mokyr, A Culture of Growth: The Origins of the Modern Economy (Princeton University Press, June 2018 [2016])

Kim Phillips-Fein, Fear City: New York's Fiscal Crisis and the Rise of Austerity Politics (Metropolitan Books, April 2018 [2017])

E. Michael Rosser and Diane M. Sanders, A History of Mortgage Banking in the West: Financing America's Dreams (University Press of Colorado, March 2018 [2017])

Tirthankar Roy, Company of Kinsmen: Enterprise and Community in South Asian History 1700-1940
(Oxford University Press, May 2018 [2010])

Richard Swedberg, Tocqueville's Political Economy (Princeton University Press, February 2018 [2009])

Benjamin C. Waterhouse, The Land of Enterprise: A Business History of the United States (Simon & Schuster, April 2018 [2017])

Charlie Whitham, Post-War Business Planners in the United States, 1939-48: The Rise of the Corporate Moderates (Bloomsbury Academic, April 2018 [2016])

Gavin Wright, Sharing the Prize: The Economics of the Civil Rights Revolution in the American South (Harvard University Press, Fenruary 2018 [2013])

Monday, May 28, 2018

New in Paperback: (Belated) Fall 2017 Edition

The last "new in paperback" listing covered publications through June 2017, so we are well behind. This listing covers books published from June through December 2017. A following post will cover books published from January through May 2018. The listing does not include books published simultaneously in hardcover and paper.

Pierpaolo Barbieri, Hitler's Shadow Empire: Nazi Economics and the Spanish Civil War (Harvard University Press, November 2017 [2015])

Daina Ramey Berry, The Price for Their Pound of Flesh: The Value of the Enslaved from Womb to Grave in the Building of a Nation (Beacon Press: December 2017 [January 2017])

Mansel G. Blackford, Columbus, Ohio: Two Centuries of Business and Environmental Change (Ohio State University Press, July 2017 [2016])

Christy Ford Chapin, Ensuring America's Health: The Public Creation of the Corporate Health Care System (Cambridge University Press, July 2017 [2015])

Wendy Gamber, The Notorious Mrs. Clem: Murder and Money in the Gilded Age (August 2017 [2016])

William N. Goetzmann, Money Changes Everything: How Finance Made Civilization Possible (Princeton University Press, August 2017 [2016])

Robert J. Gordon, The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living since the Civil War (Princeton University Press, August 2017 [2016])

Barbara M. Hahn, Making Tobacco Bright: Creating an American Commodity, 1617-1937 (Johns Hopkins University Press, December 2017 [2011])

Jürgen Kocka, Capitalism: A Short History (Princeton University Press, November 2017 [2016])

Peter H. Lindert and Jeffrey G. Williamson, Unequal Gains: American Growth and Inequality since 1700 (Princeton University Press, 2017 [2016])

Shepherd W. McKinley, Stinking Stones and Rocks of Gold: Phosphate, Fertilizer, and Industrialization in Postbellum South Carolina (University Press of Florida, October 2017 [2014])

Edward Morris, Wall Streeters: The Creators and Corruptors of American Finance (Columbia
University Press, November 2017 [2015])

Kathryn S. Olmsted, Right Out of California: The 1930s and the Big Business Roots of Modern Conservatism (New Press, June 2017 [2015])

Thomas Pellechia, Over a Barrel: The Rise and Fall of New York's Taylor Wine Company (SUNY Press, January 2018 [2015])

Guillermo Perez Sarrion, The Emergence of a National Market in Spain, 1650-1800: Trade, Networks, Foreign Powers and the State (Bloomsbury Academic, December 2017 [2016])

John D. Wong, Global Trade in the Nineteenth Century: The House of Houqua and the Canton System (Cambridge University Press, December 2017 [2016])

Friday, May 25, 2018

Two Historical Datasets of Interest

  • The Federico-Tena World Trade Historical Database: "The available series of world trade covered mostly the advanced world and were hopelessly outdated as they did not take into account all the research on foreign trade of the last thirty years. In contrast, our data-set uses all the most recent research we are aware of and covers almost all polities (independent countries and colonies) in the world after 1850, with few . . . exceptions. . . . For each polity we estimate series of imports and exports at current and constant prices (in 1913 dollars), both at current and 1913 borders." The data are free to use with attribution; the compilers will continue to update the series.

  • Measuring Worth [from Samuel H. Williamson]: "There are two missions of this site. The first is to make available to the public the highest quality and most reliable historical data on important economic aggregates, with particular emphasis on nominal (current-price) measures, as well as real (constant-price) measures. The data presented here on the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia, have been created using the highest standards of the fields of economics and history, and they were rigorously refereed by the most distinguished researchers in the fields. The second is to provide carefully designed comparators (using these data) that explain the many issues involved in making value comparisons over time."

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

HBS Conference: “Roadblocks to Sustainability”

Harvard Business School is holding a conference on "Understanding and Overcoming the Roadblocks to Sustainability" that will meet on June 14, 2018. The meeting organizers write:
Over the past several decades, a vibrant scholarly community has generated thousands of empirical and conceptual studies on the complex relationship between business and the natural environment. At the same time, many large corporations have created positions of Corporate Sustainability Officer with the goal of achieving steady improvements in their sustainability performance. Despite substantial academic research and management attention, complex ecological challenges continue to grow. This unfortunate disconnect between aspirations and reality has begun to provoke some self-reflection in the business and natural environment literature concerning its impact and relevance. .  . . Recent empirical business history research appears to show that profits and sustainability have been hard to reconcile throughout history. . . . This conference will focus on the roadblocks to sustainability since the 1960s and develop a research agenda for scholars seeking to overcome those roadblocks. In addition to offering a retrospective analysis of where corporate sustainability has fallen short, the conference will explore the incentives, organizational designs, and institutional systems that would allow sustainability to take hold.
The list of speakers and schedule are now available on the conference website, as well as information about lodging and registration. Note that the registration deadline is June 5, 2018.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Preliminary Program: ABH 2018 Meeting

The 2018 Association of Business Historians (ABH) annual conference will be held on June 29-30 at the Open University Business School in Milton Keynes. With a theme of "Pluralistic Perspectives of Business History," the conference "aims to explore the impact of gender, social class, ethnicity, and religion on business success, fraud, funding, financial markets, corporate governance, and corporate social responsibility." The preliminary program is now available.
     For additional information about the conference, please see the meeting website. Note that early registration closes on June 4; online registration will close on June 22.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Over the Counter: Issue No. 40

News of interest from around the web:

The Winter 2018 edition of Financial History, the magazine of the Museum of American Finance, contains articles by Susie Pak on "Where Are They Now? " on the investment firm Blyth & Co., and by Joseph Martin and the late Chris Kobrak on "Evolution of the Canadian Currency and Banking Systems."

The folks at BackStory interviewed Bernard Carlson and Paul Israel about Thomas Edison's reputation.

Jon Kelvey writes in Smithsonian online about "How Advertising Shaped the First Opioid Epidemic."

We're saddened to report the deaths of two well-known members of the business and economic history community. Tony Corley, who died on March 15, 2018, is remembered by Mark Casson; and Frank Lewis, who died on March 14, is memorialized by Ann Carlos, Ian Keay, and Taylor Jaworski on EH.Net. 

The Mapping Early American Elections team has released over eighty maps of elections for Congress’s second decade. This release adds county-level maps of election returns for the Sixth through Tenth Congresses, taking coverage of Congressional elections up through the 1806–1807 elections.

A new online exhibit from the American Antiquarian Society, "The News Media and the Making of America, 1730-1865," explores the interconnectedness of American news media, in all its formats, with changes in technology, business, politics, society, and community from 1730 to 1865.

Kim Phillips-Fein's book, Fear City: New York’s Fiscal Crisis and the Rise of Austerity Politics, was named as a finalist for the 2018 Pulitzer Prize in History.

A recent issue of the JSTOR Daily, on "Why Americans Used to Hate Hotel Workers," features the research of K. Sandoval-Strausz and Daniel Levinson Wilk.

A Harvard Business Review article by Steve Blank suggests "To Understand the Future of Tesla, Look to the History of GM."

"Black Perspectives," the blog of the African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS), ran a roundtable in March on the book Masterless Men by Keri Leigh Merritt. Of particular interest are two posts, one by Calvin Schermerhorn on "In the Shadows of Slavery's Capitalism," and another,  by Jessica Parr, on "Race, Economics, and the Persistence of Slavery."

On the University Press of Florida blog, authors Mark H. Rose and Roger Biles discuss "The  President as American Consumer-in-Chief," drawing on their work for their edited book, The President and American Capitalism since 1945.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Conference: “New Perspectives on Regulatory History” at HBS

Harvard Business School will host a conference on "New Perspectives on U.S. Regulatory History: Past and Present of Public Utilities and Antitrust Law," to be held June 4-5, 2018. According to the organizers,
This research conference brings together leading historians and legal scholars interested in the history and future of the U.S. regulatory tradition. . . . [The] conference seeks to reinvigorate [Tom] McCraw’s insight that interdisciplinary dialogue is necessary to understand the complexities of modern regulatory policy.
The schedule is available here. Please note that registration must be completed by May 22, 2018. For registration information, as well as details about lodging and travel, please see the conference website. Questions may be directed to

Monday, May 14, 2018

Program Available: 2018 Policy History Conference

Every two years the Journal of Policy History and the Institute for Political History sponsor a conference on policy history. According to the website, "the primary goal behind the conference has been to provide an interdisciplinary forum for presentations and roundtable discussions on policy history topics and recent policy history research." The 2018 conference will be held in Tempe, Arizona, on May 16- 19. The program, available online, features a number of sessions of interest, particularly:
Session 1-A: "Risking the Republic: Federal Policy and Financial Change in the Postwar Era," with Christy Ford Chapin, Sean Vanatta, Peter Conti-Brown, commentary by Mark Rose;
Panel 4-C: "Conservative Challenges to the Great Society," chair and commentator, Elizabeth Tandy Shermer;
Roundtable 3-H: Roundtable Discussion of Laura Phillips Sawyer’s American Fair Trade: Proprietary Capitalism, Corporatism, and the ‘New Competition,’ 1890-1940, with Benjamin Waterhouse, Victoria Saker Woeste, and Joanna Grisinger, chaired by Elizabeth Sanders
Roundtable 4-C: Roundtable Discussion of Edward Balleisen’s Fraud: An American History from Barnum to Madoff, with Cristie Ford, Pamela W. Laird, Ajay Mehrotra, and Robert Horowitz; chaired by Benjamin Waterhouse and commentary by Edward Balleisen
For complete information about the meeting, please see the conference website.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Reminder: Extended Deadline for Business History Special Issue CFP

Business History will publish a special issue on "Bank-Industry versus Stock Market-Industry Relationships: A Business History Approach." The guest editors are José L. García-Ruiz, Complutense University of Madrid, and Michelangelo Vasta, University of Siena. In their call for papers, they state: "It seems clear that much can be learned about the bank-industry and stock market-industry relationships if they are addressed from a Business History perspective, which until now has been almost completely neglected."
     The editors welcome contributions on the history of the bank-industry and stock market-industry relationships, especially if they use interdisciplinary and new methodologies and cross-country comparisons.  Articles should be based on original research and should not be under consideration by other journal. All articles should be submitted via ScholarOne, using the drop-down menu to select submission to the appropriate special issue. The deadline for submissions has been extended to May 31, 2018. A full discussion of the topic and instructions for submission can be found in the call for papers on the journal's website.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Reminder: Application Deadline for New “Exchange” Editor Is May 15

The Business History Conference is looking for a new editor for this blog, "The Exchange." For the full announcement, see our earlier post. This is a great opportunity to serve while simultaneously keeping abreast of the business and economic history scholarly world! 
    Applicants should send a cover letter outlining interest in and aptitude for the position together with a CV to Shennette Garrett-Scott, Chair, Electronic Media Oversight Committee, at by May 15, 2018. Questions can be directed either to Shennette at the listed email address or to Andrew Popp, BHC Secretary-Treasurer, at

Monday, May 7, 2018

Spring 2018 Edition: Business Historians in the News

A sample of business historians in the news in recent weeks:
In Growth Policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, Geoffrey Jones talks about income inequality, sustainability, and corporate social responsibility.

On Xerfi Canal, Eric Godelier of the Ecole Polytechnique can be viewed talking about "The Place of Culture in Management."

In a recent article in the Baltimore Sun on the need for citywide street design, Paige Glotzer of Harvard University is quoted about the research in her forthcoming book on "Building Suburban Power: The Business of Exclusionary Housing Markets"

Robert Wright of Augustana University is quoted in a recent Forbes article on "Is Economics Going Back to the 1800s? Maybe So."

Several business historians have written recently for the "Made by History" series in the Washington Post [behind a paywall for some]:
    Shane Hamilton on "The Great American Supermarket Lie"
    Jason Weixelbaum [recent BHC Colloquium member] on "Why It's Time to Regulate Social Media Companies Like Facebook"
     Elizabeth Tandy Shermer on "The Right to Work Really Means the Right to Work for Less"

Joshua D. Rothman writes about "The Curious Origins of the Dollar Sign" for We're History.

The National History Center recently addressed concerns about robots and jobs at a congressional briefing on automation and the workforce, presented by Amy Bix (Iowa State University), Jonathan C. Coopersmith (Texas A&M University), and Louis Hyman (Cornell University); the session is detailed in the AHA's blog.

For Nieman Lab, Heidi Tworek of the University of British Columbia and John Maxwell Hamilton of Louisiana State University discuss "Why the Golden Age of Newspapers Was the Exception Not the Rule."

Auburn University's Perspectives looks at Xaq Frohlich's class on "Food and Power," focusing on his research interests in the history of food regulation and food science and technology. 

Friday, May 4, 2018

Digital Resource: Images of Early America and Westward Expansion from the Newberry

An announcement from the Newberry Library in Chicago:
Now anyone with an Internet connection can access over 200,000 high-resolution images from a range of primary sources—maps, manuscripts, books, pamphlets, photographs, and artwork—documenting Europeans’ evolving conception of the Americas, early contact between colonial forces and Indigenous peoples, the expanding boundaries of the United States, and the imaginary construction of “the West.” These images come from the Edward E. Ayer Collection, one of the strongest collections regarding American Indian history and culture in the world; and the Everett D. Graff Collection, a substantial aggregation of Western Americana that ranks among the most extensive in the country.
Of special interest to business historians is the large number of business directories, trade cards, receipts, account books, and merchant advertisements one can find among the items in the Graff Collection. The Ayer Collection holds fascinating items such as voyageur contracts, Indian deeds, ledgers, promissory notes, and fur trade company documents.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

EBHS Meeting Program Now Online

The Economic and Business History Society (EBHS) will hold its next annual meeting at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, from May 30 to June 2, 2018; the theme is "Early Modern Origins of Growth and Business." The preliminary program is now available on the meeting website; Deirdre McCloskey will give the opening keynote address.
    Online registration continues until May 7, 2018. For additional information about travel, lodging, meeting activities, and other details, please consult the EBHS Conference website.

Monday, April 30, 2018

CFP: Portuguese Association of Economic and Social History 2018

The Portuguese Association of Economic and Social History (APHES) has issued a call for papers for its next annual meeting, to be held at the University of Lisbon on November 16-17, 2018. The theme for the meeting will be gender in economic and social history. According to the call for papers:
Gender as an analytical tool has been increasingly used by historians in the last few decades in a wide range of domains. The aspects of social and economic history where the gender dimension is relevant are numerous: assessment of social functions, different patterns of insertion in the labour market, of wage levels, of access to property or wealth, of acquisition of human capital, or of participation in the life of firms are just a few examples. We invite scholars who wish to contribute to the debate on gender issues in economic and social history to present proposals for panels or individual papers. The submission of panel proposals and individual papers on any other topic in economic and social history is also welcome.
Paper proposals should include 4 keywords, an abstract (max. 500 words) indicating the topic, the aims, the theoretical approach and the empirical foundations; and a CV of no more than 400 words. Panel proposals should include the same information for each participant and paper; and should include three participants and a chair. Proposals and full texts should be sent to The submission deadline is May 16, 2018.
    For more information, please see the call for papers on the APHES conference website.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Reminder: WEHC Early Registration Deadline Approaching

The 18th World Economic History Congress (WEHC) meets this year in Boston, Massachusetts, on July 29-August 3. Early registration rates end on April 30 at midnight. The early standard rate is $325 and the early student rate is $125. Beginning May 1, rates will be $400 and $150, respectively. Online registration will close on July 15, 2018, after which registrants will need to pay a higher on-site rate.
     See for more information on the program, plenary sessions, traveling to Boston, accommodations, and excursions.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Fellowship Announcements from HBS

The Business History Group at Harvard Business School announces the following fellowships for the 2018-2019 academic year:
  • The Harvard-Newcomen Postdoctoral Fellowship in Business History To be awarded for twelve months’ residence, study, and research at Harvard Business School. The fellowship is open to scholars who, within the last ten years, have received a Ph.D. in history, economics, or a related discipline. This fellowship is to enable scholars to engage in research that will benefit from the resources of Harvard Business School and the larger Boston scholarly community. A travel fund and a book fund will be provided. This fellowships will also provide an opportunity for the fellow to participate in the activities of Harvard Business School. This can take several forms. The fellow can research and write a case, under the direction of a senior faculty member, to be used in one of the business history courses. She or he might also organize a research conference under the auspices of the Business History Initiative, or assist the Initiative’s ongoing projects in other ways. Applicants should submit a CV, undergraduate transcript and graduate-school record, thesis abstract, and writing sample (such as an article or a book chapter). Applicants should also state the topics, objectives, and design for the specific research to be undertaken. Finally, applicants should indicate the names of three people who will write references on their behalf. The three letters of recommendation are to be submitted by the writers directly by October 1, 2018. It is the responsibility of the applicant to solicit these letters. The fellowship will be awarded and all applicants notified by mid-January. The Fellowship will begin July 1, 2019. Applications should be received no later than October 1 and submitted online to: Please direct your recommenders to visit:
  • Thomas K. McCraw Fellowship This award honors the work and contributions of Thomas K. McCraw (1940-2012), who was Isidor Straus Professor of Business History at Harvard Business School. The fellowship enables established scholars from around the world whose primary interest is the business and economic history of the United States to spend time in residence at Harvard Business School. The main activities of the Thomas K. McCraw Fellow will be to conduct research in the archives of Baker Library or in other Boston-area libraries, present his or her work at a seminar, and interact with HBS faculty. The Thomas K. McCraw Fellow will receive a stipend of $7,000 to cover travel and living expenses. Fellows are expected to be in residence for a minimum of two months. Recipients of the fellowship will receive work space, an e-mail account, a phone, a computer, an ID card, and access to the University’s libraries and to the HBS Intranet for the duration of the appointment. Applicants should send a cover letter, a CV, and a two- to three-page research proposal to Walter A. Friedman via email to Applications for the fellowship should arrive no later than October 15, 2018. The applicant should also arrange for two letters of reference, sent directly by the recommender, to arrive at the above address by October 15, 2018. The recipient will be announced by the beginning of December. 
  • The Alfred D. Chandler Jr. International Visiting Scholar in Business History Program The Alfred D. Chandler Jr. International Visiting Scholar in Business History Program invites established scholars in business history based outside the United States to spend a period of time in residence at Harvard Business School. The Chandler International Visiting Scholar is expected to interact with faculty and researchers, present work at research seminars, and conduct business history research. Recipients will be given a $7,000 stipend (payable at the end of their visit), office space, an e-mail account, phone, computer, ID card, and access to the University’s libraries and the HBS Intranet. The program requires a two-month minimum length of stay. Scholars may stay up to a maximum of six months. Applicants should indicate when, during the calendar year, they would like to be in residence at the School. It is expected that the recipient will be actively engaged in the intellectual life of the business history group. Applicants should send a cover letter, a CV, and a two- to three-page research proposal to Walter A. Friedman via e-mail to Applications for the fellowship should arrive no later than October 15, 2018. The applicant should also arrange for two letters of reference, sent directly by the recommender, to arrive at the above address by October 15, 2018. The recipient will be announced by the beginning of December. 
  • The Alfred D. Chandler Jr. Travel Fellowships The purpose of this fellowship is to facilitate library and archival research in business or economic history. Individual grants range from $1,000 to $3,000. Three categories of applicants will be eligible for grants: 1) Harvard University graduate students in history, economics, or business administration, whose research requires travel to distant archives or repositories; 2) graduate students or nontenured faculty in those fields from other universities, in the U.S. and abroad, whose research requires travel to Baker Library and other local archives; and 3) Harvard College undergraduates writing senior theses in these fields whose research requires travel away from Cambridge. To apply, send a CV, a summary of past academic research (of 1-2 pages), and a detailed description of the research you wish to undertake (of 2-3 pages). Applicants must indicate the amount of money requested (up to $3,000). Please also arrange to have one letter of reference sent independently of the application. The deadline for receipt of applications is November 5, 2018. All materials should be sent to Walter Friedman via e-mail to
For more information about all these fellowships, please visit the HBS Fellowships website:

Monday, April 23, 2018

CFP and PDWs: Special Issue, Journal of Business Ethics, on “Historic Corporate Social Responsibility”

The guest editors of the Journal of Business Ethics special issue on "Historic Corporate Social Responsibility: Its Extent, Limits, and Consequences" will arrange paper development workshops at several upcoming conferences: Academy of Management (10-14 August in Chicago), International Association for Business & Society (7-10 June in Hong Kong), and European Business History Association (6-8 September in Ancona, Italy).
    During the workshops, authors will present and discuss their papers and receive feedback from discussants and peers. Attendance at these workshops is NOT a precondition for submission to the Journal of Business Ethics Special Issue. Confirmed discussants at the Academy of Management in Chicago include Stephanie Decker (Aston Business School), Gabrielle Durepos (Mount Saint Vincent University), Paul C. Godfrey (Brigham Young University), Stefan Hielscher (University of Bath), Michael Rowlinson (University of Exeter), Sébastien Mena (Cass Business School), and Roy R. Suddaby (University of Victoria and Newcastle University).
    Scholars interested in one of the workshops are asked to contact the guest editors according to requirements for each conference. Please see the following for the key dates and contact information.
  • IABS conference: Elevator pitch format. Interested authors might wish to contact Rob Phillips ( prior to the conference.
  • AoM conference and EBHA conference: To be considered for a PDW at either AoM or EBHA, an abstract (no more than 2,000 words or 8 pages in all) should be submitted to the responsible guest editor (Judith Schrempf-Stirling for AoM; Christian Stutz for EBHA). The guest editors will then select promising abstracts and notify the authors. After acceptance, the authors are asked to submit a full paper (8,000-10,000 words).  
  • For the AoM, the deadline is May 15, 2018 (extended deadline), with submission of full paper by July 1, 2018. For the EBHA, the deadline is June 17, 2018, with submission of full paper by August 1, 2018. 
(The workshop proposal at the EBHA is currently under evaluation—to be confirmed.)
       Interested readers may also want to read the complete call for papers for this special issue.