Political Economy in the United States

History 280D.001

Spring 2013
Day & Time: 
Th 12-2P

The recent revival of interest in "political economy" as a historical lens (sometimes called "history of capitalism") promises to help U.S. historians to integrate the institutional turn's focus on government institutions with new attention to business history, labor history, and the links between politics, economics, and culture.  One point of this seminar is to flesh out the abstract mouthful of the previous sentence with readings that exemplify the trend.  The other is to equip students with a secure grounding in the history itself.  Starting in the early republic and ending in the mid-20th century will have a whirlwind effect, but the point is to read the best books about the most important subjects, including work by  Sven Beckert, Stephen Mihm, Alexandra Harmon, Richard Bensel, Liz Cohen, Theda Scocpol, Meg Jacobs, Jefferson Cowie, Kim Phillips-Fein, and, yes, others!  Students should emerge from all this with views about the present state of and future directions for the field -- in addition to a deeper understanding of how the U.S. grew from a small country on the political-economic periphery and dependent on slave-based agriculture into the military-industrial superpower that set (or seemed remarkably widely to set) the international standard for freedom and opportunity.

Course Books

The Permanent Tax Revolt by Martin, Isaac Stanford University Press. ISBN: 978-0804758710 Required
Capital Moves by Cowie, Jefferson New Press. ISBN: 978-1565846593 Required
The Origins of the Urban Crisis by Sugrue, Thomas Princeton University Press. ISBN: 978-0691121864 Required
The Problem of Jobs by McKee, Guian University of Chicago Press. ISBN: 978-0226560120 Required
Policymaking For Social Security by Derthick, Martha Brookings Institution Press. ISBN: 978-0815718154 Required
For All These Rights by Klein, Jennifer Princeton University Press. ISBN: 978-0691126050 Required
A Consumer's Republic by Cohen, Lizbeth Vintage. ISBN: 978-0375707377 Required
From Cotton Belt to Sunbelt by Schulman, Bruce Duke University Press. ISBN: 978-0822315377 Required
Labor's War At Home by Lichtenstein, Nelson Temple University Press. ISBN: 978-1592131976 Required
V Was For Victory by Blum, John Morton Mariner Books. ISBN: 978-0156936286 Required
The New Deal and the Problem of Monopoly by Hawley, Ellis Fordham University Press. ISBN: 978-0823216093 Required
Building New Deal Liberalism by Smith, Jason Scott Cambridge University Press. ISBN: 978-0521139939 Required
Protecting Soldiers and Mothers by Skocpol, Theda Harvard University Press. ISBN: 978-0674717664 Required
Atlantic Crossings by Rodgers, Daniel Harvard University Press. ISBN: 978-0674002012 Required
The Populist Vision by Postel, Charles Oxford University Press. ISBN: 978-0195384710 Required
Network Nation by John, Richard Harvard University Press. ISBN: 978-0674024298 Required
The Visible Hand by Chandler, Alfred Harvard University Press. ISBN: 978-0674940529 Required
The Political Economy of American Industrialization by Bensel, Richard Franklin Cambridge University Press. ISBN: 978-0521776042 Required
Scraping By by Rockman, Seth Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN: 978-0801890079 Required
Soul By Soul by Johnson, Walter Harvard University Press. ISBN: 978-0674005396 Required
A New Order of Things by Saunt, Claudio Cambridge University Press. ISBN: 978-0521669436 Required
Sweetness and Power by Mintz, Sidney Penguin. ISBN: 978-0140092332 Required
The Great Transformation by Polyani, Karl Beacon Press. ISBN: 978-0807056431 Required