3 to 5 pm
Putting the Economy Back in History
Colleen A. Dunlavy, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Historians now know much more about their own history than they did two decades ago, but a large hole remains: the fate of economic history. This paper sets aside the presentist tendencies of earlier studies and holds economic historians in view even as they disappear from the profession’s main stage. It restores to historians’ memory a much more capacious, more broadly conceived field of inquiry, revealing along the way a money trail of foundation influence and a hitherto unnoticed “fragmentation” in history. This more robust vision of economic history’s past yields useful tools for assessing the new “history of capitalism.”
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