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Bringing Political Economy Back in

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 February 2015


Like so many of the fields that have flourished in history departments in recent years, business history has an uneasy relationship with political history. When business history first emerged in the United States as a separate field in the 1920s, its founders stressed the importance of lavishing on business records the same reverence that political historians accorded the personal papers of lawmakers. Only in this way, business historians assumed, would it be possible to convince other historians of the centrality of business leaders—and, more broadly, of economic institutions—to the making of the nation.

Roundtable Articles
Copyright © The Author(s) 2008. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the Business History Conference. All rights reserved.

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1. Dunn, JohnThe Economic Limits to Modern Politics,” in The Economic Limits to Modern Politics, ed. Dunn, John (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990), p. 19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar