A leading economic historian traces the evolution of American capitalism from the colonial era to the present--and argues that we've reached a turning point that will define the era ahead.
"A monumental achievement, sure to become a classic."--Zachary D. Carter, author of The Price of Peace
In this ambitious single-volume history of the United States, economic historian Jonathan Levy reveals how capitalism in America has evolved through four distinct ages and how the country's economic evolution is inseparable from the nature of American life itself. The Age of Commerce
spans the colonial era through the outbreak of the Civil War, and the Age of Capital
traces the lasting impact of the industrial revolution. The volatility of the Age of Capital ultimately led to the Great Depression, which sparked the Age of Control
, during which the government took on a more active role in the economy, and finally, in the Age of Chaos
, deregulation and the growth of the finance industry created a booming economy for some but also striking inequalities and a lack of oversight that led directly to the crash of 2008.
In Ages of American Capitalism,
Levy proves that capitalism in the United States has never been just one thing. Instead, it has morphed through the country's history--and it's likely changing again right now. "A stunning accomplishment . . . an indispensable guide to understanding American history--and what's happening in today's economy."--Christian Science Monitor
"The best one-volume history of American capitalism
."--Sven Beckert, author of Empire of Cotton
About the Author
Jonathan Levy is a professor in the Department of History and the John U. Nef Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. His first book, Freaks of Fortune: The Emerging World of Capitalism and Risk in America, won the Organization of American Historians' Frederick Jackson Turner Award, Ellis W. Hawley Prize, and Avery O. Craven Award, as well as the American Society for Legal History's William Nelson Cromwell Book Prize. He lives in Chicago, Illinois.