The rise of the social sciences in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century America has been an especially fruitful topic for intellectual historians over the past four decades. An early, prominent explanation of the new levels of institutional power and intellectual authority achieved by the social sciences stressed the sense of interdependence created by the expansion of the market and the rise of new communications technologies. Others have emphasized intellectual struggles for authority among religious, popular, and scientific approaches to knowledge. Still others have laid the credit, or blame, for the ascension of the social sciences on liberal elites’ consolidation of their power after the collapse of monarchical authority and the successful repression of Marxist challenges. Two celebrated accounts have argued that ideological conditions, whether pervasive beliefs in American exceptionalism or visions of “scientific democracy,” shaped the development of the social sciences and their claims to intellectual authority. In the case of specific disciplines, like sociology and political science, the most supple histories have shown how broad changes in the structure of American capitalism created the conditions of possibility for new forms of knowledge about the social world, while more subtle intellectual shifts created openings for particular practices.