U.S. Economic history/Bibliography

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A list of key readings about U.S. Economic history.
Please sort and annotate in a user-friendly manner. For formatting, consider using automated reference wikification.
  • Atack, Jeremy and Peter Passell. A New Economic View of American History: From Colonial Times to 1940 (1994) online, 1st edition was Lee, Susan Previant, and Peter Passell. A New Economic View of American History (1979)
  • Chandler, Alfred D. and James W. Cortada. A Nation Transformed by Information: How Information Has Shaped the United States from Colonial Times to the Present (2000) online
  • Cochran; Thomas C. 200 Years of American Business. (1977) online
  • Cochrane, Willard W. The Development of American Agriculture: A Historical Analysis (1993)
  • Engerman, Stanley L. and Robert E. Gallman, eds. The Cambridge Economic History of the United States (2000), covers 1790-1914; heavily quantitative
  • Goldin, Claudia Understanding the Gender Gap: An Economic History of American Women (1990), quantitative
  • Gordon, John Steele An Empire of Wealth: The Epic History of American Economic Power (2004), popular history
  • Gordon, Robert. "U.S. Economic Growth since 1870: One Big Wave," American Economic Review 89:2 (May 1999), 123-28; in JSTOR
  • Hurt, R. Douglas. American Agriculture: A Brief History (2002)
  • Hughes, Jonathan and Louis P. Cain. American Economic History (6th Edition) (2002), textbook
  • Kirkland; Edward C. A History of American Economic Life (1951), textbook online
  • Schlebecker John T. Whereby we thrive: A history of American farming, 1607-1972 (1972)
  • Studenski, Paul, and Herman Krooss. A Financial History of the United States (1952)
  • Walton, Gary M. and Hugh Rockoff. History of the American Economy with Economic Applications (2004), textbook
  • Whaples, Robert and Dianne C. Betts, eds. Historical Perspectives on the American Economy: Selected Readings (1995) articles

Colonial

  • Bidwell, Percy and Falconer, John I. History of Agriculture in the Northern United States 1620-1860 (1941)
  • McCusker, John J. ed. Economy of British America, 1607-1789 (1991), 540pp excerpt and text search
  • McGaw Judith A. (ed.) Early American Technology: Making and Doing Things From the Colonial Era to 1850 (1994)
  • Weeden, William Babcock. Economic and Social History of New England, 1620-1789 (1891) 964 pages; online edition

1775-1860

  • Batchelder, Samuel. Introduction and Early Progress of the Cotton Manufacture in the United States (1863) online edition
  • Bidwell, Percy and Falconer, John I. History of Agriculture in the Northern United States 1620-1860 (1941)
  • Chandler, Alfred. "Anthracite Coal and the Beginnings of the ‘Industrial Revolution' in the United States," Business History Review 46 (1972): 141-181.
  • Clark, Victor S. History of Manufactures in the United States: 1607-1860 (1916) online at books.google.com
  • Cohen, Isaac. American Management and British Labor: A Comparative Study of the Cotton Spinning Industry (1990) online edition
  • Cole, Arthur Harrison. The American Wool Manufacture 1926
  • Copeland, Melvin Thomas. The Cotton Manufacturing Industry of the United States (1912) online edition
  • Genovese, Eugene. Roll, Jordan Roll: The World the Slaves made (1967), highly influential history of plantation slavery excerpt and text search
  • Gray, Lewis Cecil. History of Agriculture in the Southern United States to 1860. 2 vol (1933), classic in-depth history online edition
  • Licht, Walter. Industrializing America: The Nineteenth Century (1995) survey
  • Mathias, Peter, and M. M. Postan, eds. The Cambridge Economic History of Europe from the Decline of the Roman Empire, Vol. 7, Pt. 2 The Industrial Economies: Capital, Labour and Enterprise, The United States, Japan and Russia, (1978)
  • Meyer, David R. The Roots of American Industrialization (2002)
  • Nettels, Curtis P. The Emergence of a National Economy, 1775-1815 (1962) broad economic history of the era
  • Olson, James S. Encyclopedia of the Industrial Revolution in America (2001)
  • Phillips, Ulrich B. "The Decadence of the Plantation System." Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences, 35 (January, 1910): 37-41. in JSTOR
  • Ransom, Roger. Conflict and Compromise: The Political Economy of Slavery, Emancipation and the American Civil War (1989)
  • Sellers, Charles, The Market Revolution: Jacksonian America, 1815-1846 (1994) online
  • Taylor, George Rogers. The Transportation Revolution, 1815-1860 (1951)
  • Temin, Peter. Iron and Steel in Nineteenth-Century America, An Economic Inquiry (1964)
  • Temin, Peter. The Jacksonian Economy (1969) online
  • Wright, Gavin. Old South, New South: Revolutions in the Southern Economy since the Civil War (1986)
  • Wright, Gavin. The Political Economy of the Cotton South: Households, Markets, and Wealth in the Nineteenth Century (1978) online
  • Wright, Robert E. and David J. Cowen. Financial Founding Fathers: The Men Who Made America Rich, University of Chicago Press, 2006. ISBN 0-226-91068-7.

1860-1914

  • Adams, Sean Patrick. "The US Coal Industry in the Nineteenth Century."] EH.Net Encyclopedia, August 15 2001 scholarly overview online edition
  • Cyclopedia of American agriculture; a popular survey of agricultural conditions, ed by L. H. Bailey, 4 vol 1907-1909. online edition highly useful compendium
  • Cannadine, David. Mellon: An American Life (2006)
  • Chandler, Alfred, ed. The Railroads: The Nation's First Big Business - Sources and Readings. (1965)
  • Chandler, Alfred D. The Visible Hand: The Managerial Revolution in American Business (1977), highly influential interpretation of history of big business
  • Chandler, Alfred D.; Strategy and Structure: Chapters in the History of the Industrial Enterprise (1969)complete text online; excerpt and text search
  • Fite, Gilbert C. The Farmers' Frontier: 1865-1900 (1966), the west
  • Hogan, William T. Economic History of the Iron and Steel Industry in the United States. (1971) 5 vol.
  • Krass, Peter. Carnegie (2002). online edition ISBN 0-471-38630-8.
  • Jenks, Leland H. "Railroads as an Economic Force in American Development," The Journal of Economic History, Vol. 4, No. 1 (May, 1944), 1-20. in JSTOR
  • Kirkland, Edward Chase. Men, Cities and Transportation, A Study of New England History 1820-1900 2 vol (1948)
  • Klein, Maury. The Life & Legend of E. H. Harriman (2000) online edition
  • Licht, Walter. Industrializing America: The Nineteenth Century (1995) survey* Misa, Thomas J. A Nation of Steel: The Making of Modern America, 1865-1925 (1998)
  • Martin, Albro. Railroads Triumphant: The Growth, Rejection, and Rebirth of a Vital American Force (1992) excerpt and text search
  • Middleton, William D. ed. Encyclopedia of North American Railroads (2007) Indiana U. Press: 1200 pp; the most valuable reference book; 500+ entries by experts, with bibliographies
  • Moody, John. The Railroad Builders: A Chronicle of the Welding of the States (1919), popular online at Project Gutenberg
  • Nasaw, David. Andrew Carnegie (2006), the standard biography excerpt and text search
  • Netschert, Bruce C. and Sam H. Schurr, Energy in the American Economy, 1850-1975: An Economic Study of Its History and Prospects. (1960) online
  • Noyes, Alexander D. Forty Years of American Finance: A Short Financial History...1865-1907 (1909) online edition
  • Raper, Charles Lee. and Arthur Twining Hadley. Railway Transportation: A History of Its Economics and of Its Relation to the State, (1912) 331 pages; online at Google
  • Riegel, Robert Edgar. The Story of the Western Railroads 1926 online edition
  • Stover, John. American Railways (2nd ed 1997) good, brief overview; excerpt online at Amazon.com
  • Warren, Kenneth. Triumphant Capitalism: Henry Clay Frick and the Industrial Transformation of America. U. of Pittsburgh Press, 1996.
  • Warren, Kenneth. Big Steel: The First Century of the United States Steel Corporation, 1901-2001. (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2001) online review
  • Whaples, Robert. "Andrew Carnegie", EH.Net Encyclopedia of Economic and Business History.

1914-1945

  • Campbell, D'Ann. Women at War With America: Private Lives in a Patriotic Era (1984), women at work in WWII
  • Devine, Warren D. Jr. "From Shafts to Wire: Historical Perspective on Electrification". Journal of Economic History, Vol 43, No. 2 (June 1983) pp. 347-372.
  • Engerman, Stanley L., and Robert E. Gallman, eds. The Cambridge Economic History of the United States, Vol. 3: The Twentieth Century (2000), 1200pp; advanced essays by leading scholars excerpt and text search
  • Hogan, William T. Economic History of the Iron and Steel Industry in the United States. (1971) 5 vol.
  • Jensen, Richard J. "The Causes and Cures of Unemployment in the Great Depression," Journal of Interdisciplinary History 19 (1989) 553-83. at JSTOR
  • Kennedy, David. Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945 (1999), wide-ranging survey by leading scholar; online edition
  • Klein, Maury. Rainbow's End: The Crash of 1929 (2001) by economic historian excerpt and text search
  • Koistinen, Paul A. C. Arsenal of World War II: The Political Economy of American Warfare, 1940-1945 (2004) excerpt and text search
  • McCraw, Thomas K. American Business, 1920-2000: How It Worked. (2000). 270 pp. $13.95 (paperback), ISBN: 0-88295-985-9.
  • Mitchell, Broadus. The Depression Decade: From New Era through New Deal, 1929-1941 (1947) broad economic history of the era; online
  • Netschert, Bruce C. and Sam H. Schurr, Energy in the American Economy, 1850-1975: An Economic Study of Its History and Prospects. (1960) online
  • Romer, Christina D. "The Nation in Depression," The Journal of Economic Perspectives, Vol. 7, No. 2. (Spring, 1993), pp. 19-39. major survey by leading economist, with comparisons to other nations in JSTOR
  • Romer, Christina D. "What Ended the Great Depression?" The Journal of Economic History, Vol. 52, No. 4 (Dec., 1992), pp. 757-784 in JSTOR
  • Romer, Christina D. "The Great Crash and the Onset of the Great Depression," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. 105, No. 3 (Aug., 1990), pp. 597-624 in JSTOR
  • Soule, George. The Prosperity Decade: From War to Depression, 1917-1929 (1947) broad economic history of decade
  • Vatter, Harold G. The U.S. Economy in World War II (1985) online edition
  • Warren, Kenneth. Big Steel: The First Century of the United States Steel Corporation, 1901-2001. (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2001) online review
  • Wilcox, Walter W. The Farmer in the Second World War (1947) online edition

1945-Present

  • Blinder, Alan S., and Janet L. Yellen. The Fabulous Decade: Macroeconomic Lessons from the 1990s (2001) excerpt and text search
  • Carroll, Richard J. An Economic Record of Presidential Performance: From Truman to Bush (1995) online edition
  • Collins, Robert M. More: The Politics of Economic Growth in Postwar America (2000) online edition
  • Feldstein, Martin, ed. American Economic Policy in the 1980s (1994), 834pp of articles by experts.
  • Frankel, Jeffrey A., and Peter R. Orszag, eds.. American Economic Policy in the 1990s (2002), 1131 pp; essays by scholars
  • French, Michael. US Economic History since 1945 (1997)
  • Greenspan, Alan. The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World (2007), by head of the Federal Reserve
  • McCraw, Thomas K. American Business, 1920-2000: How It Worked. (2000). 270 pp. ISBN: 0-88295-985-9.
  • Nossiter, Bernard D. Fat Years and Lean: The American Economy since Roosevelt (1990) online edition
  • Patterson, James T. Restless Giant: The United States from Watergate to Bush vs. Gore (2005) excerpt and text search
  • Rosenberg, Samuel. American Economic Development Since 1945: Growth, Decline and Rejuvenation (2003) 326pp; textbook; excerpt and text search
  • Spulber, Nicolas Managing the American Economy, from Roosevelt to Reagan (1989) online edition
  • Stiglitz, Joseph E. The Roaring Nineties: A New History of the World's Most Prosperous Decade (2004) excerpt and text search
  • Stiglitz, Joseph E. Making Globalization Work (2007) excerpt and text search

Data and primary sources

  • Carter, Susan B., Scott Sigmund Gartner, Michael R. Haines, and Alan L. Olmstead, eds. The Historical Statistics of the United States (Cambridge University Press: 6 vol 2006); online (in Excel format) at some universities. 37,000 data sets make it the standard data source for all topics
  • Phillips, Ulrich B. ed. Plantation and Frontier Documents, 1649-1863; Illustrative of Industrial History in the Colonial and Antebellum South: Collected from MSS. and Other Rare Sources. 2 Volumes. (1909). online vol 1 and online vol 2
  • Schmidt, Louis Bernard. ed. Readings in the economic history of American agriculture (1925) online edition