A Second Look At Capitalism

A big second look at capitalism. How it’s worked over time.  How it hasn’t. And whether it’s run its course.

"Capitalism Works for Me!" by Steve Lambert (Flickr, SPACES Cleveland)

“Capitalism Works for Me!” by Steve Lambert (SPACES Cleveland/Flickr)

For decades in the Cold War and before, the American conversation on capitalism was pretty well frozen.  What do you want?  Capitalism or Joseph Stalin?  Capitalism or Cuba?  Then the Cold War ended and capitalism got the field pretty much to itself.

Off came the regulations and on came some high times, then, eventually, the crash, the Great Recession.  And all kinds of questions.

A new generation of thinkers is looking hard at capitalism again.  Where it’s been.  What it’s become.  How it’s working – or not.

This hour, On Point:  a big second look at almighty capitalism.

-Tom Ashbrook


Julia Ott, assistant professor of history at The New School, co-editor of the Columbia University Press series “Studies In The History Of U.S. Capitalism” and author of “When Wall Street Met Main Street: The Quest For An Investor’s Democracy

Louis Hyman, assistant professor in the Labor Relations, Law, and History department at Cornell, founding editor of the Columbia University Press series “Studies In The History Of U.S. Capitalism” and author of “Borrow: The American Way Of Debt” (@louishyman)

From Tom’s Reading List

New York Times “A specter is haunting university history departments: the specter of capitalism. After decades of ‘history from below,’ focusing on women, minorities and other marginalized people seizing their destiny, a new generation of scholars is increasingly turning to what, strangely, risked becoming the most marginalized group of all: the bosses, bankers and brokers who run the economy.”


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