Inventing the American Economy


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships




The economy is perhaps the central topic of political debate in the world today, yet familiarity has obscured the concept’s novelty. Far from being a natural feature of social life, the economy has a history—in crucial respects, a surprisingly recent one. “Inventing the American Economy” explores the place of the United States in this story, beginning with the early appearances of the economy in political and academic discussions at the turn of the twentieth century, continuing through the enshrinement of the economy as the central object of domestic governance just a few decades later, and concluding in the early 1980s with the birth of a new style of governing the economy that has survived into the present.