Who Makes Cents?: A History of Capitalism Podcast is a monthly program devoted to bringing you quality, engaging stories that explain how capitalism has changed over time. We interview historians and social and cultural critics about capitalism’s past, highlighting the political and economic changes that have created the present. Each episode gives voice to the people who have shaped capitalism – by making the rules or by breaking them, by creating economic structures or by resisting them.
Aaron Jakes on Colonial Economism and Egypt's Occupation
In Egypt's Occupation, Aaron Jakes challenges longstanding conceptions of Egypt as peripheral to global capitalism based on its role as a cotton producer through showing how Egypt functioned as a laboratory for colonial economism and financial innovation amid the turn of the twentieth-century boom and bust. In doing so, Jakes offers a sweeping reinterpretation of both the historical geography of capitalism and the role of political-economic thought during the British occupation of Egypt.
Casey Lurtz on Globalization from the Grounds Up
In From the Grounds Up: Building an Export Economy in Southern Mexico, Casey Lurtz tells the history of how a border region, the Soconusco, became Mexico’s leading coffee exporter. In doing so, she complicates narratives of globalization and economic liberalization that tend to prioritize national and global elites. Rather, as the title suggests, she digs below the surface of these processes in order to tell a powerful story about local engagement with capitalism and the state.
Caleb McDaniel on Slavery and Restitution
For those that argue that reparations are not possible or that too much time has passed, Caleb McDaniel has an important story to tell about a formerly enslaved woman named Henrietta Wood who sued for restitution in 1870 and won; paid $2,500, the largest known sum awarded by a U.S. court for restitution for slavery. Wood’s story offers valuable lessons about the history of slavery and freedom, and the lengths that different people went to in order to achieve both.
Episode 68: Augustine Sedgewick on the Dark Empire of Coffee
Augustine Sedgewick speaks about his new book, Coffeeland: One Man’s Dark Empire and the Making of Our Favorite Drug, revealing how coffee spread to Europe and the New World alongside industrialization and European imperialism, transforming whole societies in the process. In doing so, Sedgewick tells a story that is about much more than coffee, integrating histories of labor, food, business, and imperialism to reveal how global capitalism creates disconnections, as well as connections.
Paige Glotzer on How the Suburbs Were Segregated
It will come as little surprise that America’s metropolitan areas are racially segregated and unequal. Existing explanations for this tend to focus on governmental policies and consumer behavior during the New Deal and immediate post-war period. Our guest, Paige Glotzer, however, situates American suburbs in a longer history of exclusionary practices dating back to the 19th century. In doing so, she also ties the American suburb to a broader history of racial capitalism and white settler colonialism.
Marcia Chatelain on McDonalds and Black America
We’ve all heard the statistics regarding Americans and fast food. Not everyone has the same relationship with fast food. In this episode, we speak with Marcia Chatelain about the dramatic impact one fast food company, McDonald’s, has had on black communities and black politics.
Marcia Chatelain is a Provost’s Distinguished Associate Professor of History and African American Studies at Georgetown University. She is the author of Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America.
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Marcia Chatlain on McDonald’s
This podcast was a terrific intro to the intersection between capitalism and structural racism, and the mixed role of corporate America in bringing about change when it benefits the brand, while failing to recognize its own role in perpetuating “second” class minority franchise success. Can’t wait for next month’s selection.
This podcast familiarizes the listener with the work of a new scholar each week- it’s like readers digest but with academic books and in audio format. I’ve just listened to them all and I hope they make many more; it is a true public service to report on these kind of ideas.
This is a great podcast covering great topics. I would enjoy it even more if the speaker was asked each time to provide a brief overview of their work and *conclusions*. Some of the podcasts spend all their time on why the speaker chose their topic or otherwise delving deep into the backstory of the research, and the overall findings and conclusions of the work sometimes do not come through and we’re left wondering how, in fact, business elites opposed the New Deal and influenced it institutionally for example!!