Panics, Politics and Party: How Financial Panics Defined and Redefined American Politics, 1789 to the Present

Posted in Events

A Nation of Deadbeats 03

November 30, 2012
12:30 pm | ICC 270
ACMCU Conference Room
Georgetown University

The 2008 financial crisis put consumer debt at the center of American politics. In his new book historian Scott Reynolds Nelson shows that consumer debt has underpinned almost every major financial panic in the nation’s history. As far back as 1792, these panics boiled down to one simple question: Would Americans pay their debts—or were we just a nation of deadbeats? Join us for a conversation with Nelson about how financial panics have shaped American politics. Lunch will be provided.

Scott R. Nelson is Legum Professor of History at the College of William and Mary. He is the prizewinning author of four books on nineteenth-century American history. The New York Times has most recently called him a “fascinating guide to the grim landscape of Reconstruction.” His book Steel Drivin’ Man, about the life and legend of John Henry, won four national awards including the National Award for Arts Writing and the Merle Curti Prize for best book in U.S. history. A young adult book he co-wrote with Marc Aronson, Ain’t Nothing But a Man, describes how historians do research. It won seven national awards in 2008, including the Aesop prize for best book in American folklore.