I began my career . . .as a historian of technology and a business historian but, around the turn of the twentieth-first century, reconceptualized myself as a historian of capitalism.
motivating my research is the relationship between political and economic change—in particular, understanding the manifold ways in which economic change has been shaped by government policy, legal infrastructure (e.g., property rights), and the overall structure of political institutions. For this, comparative history is indispensable.
I grew up on a Minnesota farm and, after a number of years working in Minneapolis and Los Angeles, did my BA at the University of California, Berkeley, followed by a PhD at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Political Science and Program in Science, Technology, and Society). More . . .