The Ways of Providence: Capitalism, Risk, and Freedom


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships , Mellon/ACLS Recent Doctoral Recipients Fellowships


“The Ways of Providence” is a history of risk in the United States. Risk is a rich topic of analysis in the social sciences, but not as of yet for the humanities. In the nineteenth century, the ability to foresee, act upon, and be responsible for one’s risks became thoroughly bound up with what it meant to be, or become, a free person. "The Ways of Providence" is a history of how and why various Americans, at multiple social levels, attempted to be masters of their own fates, and of the world around them that sometimes succumbed to, but often foiled, their attempts.