Who Makes Cents: A History of Capitalism Podcast is a monthly program devoted to bringing you quality, engaging stories that explain how capitalism has changed over time. We interview historians and social and cultural critics about capitalism’s past, highlighting the political and economic changes that have created the present. Each episode gives voice to the people who have shaped capitalism – by making the rules or by breaking them, by creating economic structures or by resisting them.
Our interviews focus primarily, though not exclusively, on U.S. history. If you have a topic you want to learn more about – or tell us more about – get in touch. Like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter at WhoMakesCents.
Our thirty-second episode is now available! We speak with Jennifer Haigh about her novel, Heat and Light. Click here to listen online or download.
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Your hosts wrote a short essay about Who Makes Cents? on the U.S. Intellectual History Blog.
Betsy Beasley holds a PhD in American Studies at Yale University (2016). Her book project, At Your Service: Houston and the Preservation of US Global Power, 1945-2008, examines the cultural, political, and economic development of the globally integrated economy through the lens of the oilfield services industry. Specifically, her research focuses on how the rise of oilfield services provided a way for US-based firms to maintain cultural and economic power in an era of postcolonial nations’ rising political strength. In a moment when US oil resources drastically diminished, exporting oil expertise offered a triumphalist explanation for the US transition from an industrial to a post-industrial economy. Her research has been supported by the Miller Center of Public Affairs, the American Historical Association, the New Orleans Center for the Global South at Tulane University, and the Coca-Cola World Fund. An article drawn from her work is forthcoming in an issue of Diplomatic History. Read more about her work here.
David Stein is currently a Lecturer in the Departments of History and African American Studies at University of California-Los Angeles. From 2014-2016, he was the Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He received his PhD from University of Southern California’s Department of American Studies and Ethnicity in 2014. Trained in interdisciplinary methods, he is a historian whose research focuses on the interconnection between social movements and economic and social policy in post-1865 U.S. history. His fields of interest include African American Studies, history of capitalism, working-class history, policing and imprisonment, fiscal and monetary policy, and heterodox economics. His book manuscript, Fearing Inflation, Inflating Fears: The Civil Rights Struggle for Full Employment and the Rise of the Carceral State, 1929-1986, is under contract with University of North Carolina Press for their Justice, Power and Politics series. Fearing Inflation focuses on the politics and economics of unemployment. It details the efforts of Black freedom movement organizers to create governmental guarantees to a job or income, and how such efforts were stifled. In so doing, Fearing Inflation describes the long history and aftermath of the campaign designed by civil rights activist Bayard Rustin and prominent economist Leon Keyserling for a “Freedom Budget for All Americans,” in the mid-1960s, and the subsequent attempts to achieve legislation to guarantee employment led by Coretta Scott King and the Full Employment Action Council in the 1970s. He co-edited Abolition Now!: Ten Years of Strategy and Struggle Against the Prison Industrial Complex (2008), and his scholarship has appeared in Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture, and Society, Working U.S.A.: The Journal of Labor and Society; Social Justice: A Journal of Crime, Conflict and World Order; and Lateral: The Journal of the Cultural Studies Association. Read more about his work here.
Who Makes Cents is supported by the Department of American Studies and Ethnicity at University of Southern California and the Public Humanities Program at Yale University. Our logo was designed by Faith Hutchinson.