Spring 2015 (current)
- History 166B
United States in the Twentieth Century (1930 to 1959)
- History 294
Colloquium in Work, Labor, and Political Economy
There are no announcements
Current Graduate Students
- Fedorova, Maria
- Ferrari, Serge
- Finkel, Elise
- Halvorsen, Jesse Ronald
- Lim, Sunny
- Maar, Henry
- Murphey, Will
- Newman, Kurt
- Paulson, Tim
- Shedd, Kristen
- Smemo, Kristoffer
- Sonti, Samir
- Stephens, Cody
U.S. Labor History, 20th Century U.S.
MacArthur Foundation Professor in History
Ph.D., University of California Berkeley, 1974
Office: HSSB 4256 Hours:
Phone: (805) 893-4822
Fax: (805) 893-8795
Prof. Lichtenstein is the director of the Center for the Study of Work, Labor and Democracy. Current and past conferences include: The American Right and U.S. Labor: Politics, Ideology, and Imagination; The Traveling Box: Containers as the Global Icon of Our Era and Capitalism and Its Culture: Rethinking Mid-20th Century American Thought.
Research and Teaching Interests
- Political Economy
How politics, production, and distribution intersect in a global economy
- Labor History
Workers and their institutions, both voluntary and governmental, remain central to an understanding of U.S. society
- Social Thought
Intellectuals, credentialed and organic, frame the way we see the world, especially when it comes to class, capitalism, race, and gender.
- Triumphalism and Apocalypse: How Americans Have Thought About Capitalism in The 20th Century
Since the 1890s not a decade has passed without a radical shift in how writers, both popular and academic, have reconsidered the value, virtues, and future of U.S. capitalism.
- Merchant Capitalism: From the 19th Century to the 21st.
This work posits that with the rise of global retailers like Wal-Mart, Target, and Tesco we have now entered a second era of merchant capitalism, not unlike that of antebellum America, characterized by commodity production and cheap, unfree labor.
- A Contest of Ideas: Capital, Politics, and Labor (University of Illinois Press, 2013)
Collected essays on a wide variety of topics
- Editor, The Right and American Labor: Politics, Ideology, and Imagination
Historians of labor, conservatism, and the law examine the history of anti-unionism during the last hundred years.
- The Retail Revolution: How Wal-Mart Created a Brave New World of Business (Metropolitan Books, 2009)
How and why retailers like Wal-Mart have displaced manufacturing enterprises at the "commanding heights" of the world economy.
- Editor, American Capitalism: Social Thought and Political Economy in the Twentieth Century (University of Pennsylvania Presss, 2006)
How intellectuals of both the left and right have thought about capitalism during the last century
- Editor, Wal-Mart: The Face of Twenty-First-Century Capitalism (New Press, 2006)
Leading historians, sociologists, economists, and legal experts examine how the giant retailer has transformed the world.
- State of the Union: A Century of American Labor (Princeton University Press, 2002
My take on the rise and fall of Ul.S. labor, emphasizing those ideas that once gave them legitimacy and those that devalued their meaning and purpose.
- Walter Reuther: the Most Dangerous Man in Detroit (Basic Books, 1995; University of Illinois Press, 1997)
A critical biography of the 20th Century's most important unionist.
- Editor, Industrial Democracy in America: the Ambiguous Struggle (Cambridge University Press, 1993)
Leading historians reconstruct how Americans once thought about justice and democracy in the workplace.
Honors and Professional Activities
- Sol Stetin Award for Labor History 2012
- Elected Fellow, Society of American Historians 2006
- Philip Taft Prize for Best Book in Labor History
Work, Labor, and Democracy