Special Sessions

Book Session
Monday, July 30, 11:30am-1:00pm
Where: Boston Marriott Cambridge, Concept

The Vanishing Middle Class: Prejudice and Power in a Dual Economy

The Vanishing Middle Class

Author: Peter Temin, MIT

Chair: Paul Hohenberg, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute


Price Fishback, University of Arizona
Daniel Raff, University of Pennsylvania
Alex Keyssar, Harvard University
Winifred Rothenberg, Tufts University
Trevon Logan, Ohio State


Why the United States has developed an economy divided between rich and poor and how racism helped bring this about.

The United States is becoming a nation of rich and poor, with few families in the middle. In this book, MIT economist Peter Temin offers an illuminating way to look at the vanishing middle class. Temin argues that American history and politics, particularly slavery and its aftermath, play an important part in the widening gap between rich and poor. Temin employs a well-known, simple model of a dual economy to examine the dynamics of the rich/poor divide in America, and outlines ways to work toward greater equality so that America will no longer have one economy for the rich and one for the poor.

Many poorer Americans live in conditions resembling those of a developing country—substandard education, dilapidated housing, and few stable employment opportunities. And although almost half of black Americans are poor, most poor people are not black. Conservative white politicians still appeal to the racism of poor white voters to get support for policies that harm low-income people as a whole, casting recipients of social programs as the Other—black, Latino, not like “us.” Politicians also use mass incarceration as a tool to keep black and Latino Americans from participating fully in society. Money goes to a vast entrenched prison system rather than to education. In the dual justice system, the rich pay fines and the poor go to jail.

Book Session
Wednesday, August 1, 5:30-7:00pm
Where: Boston Marriott Cambridge, Concept

Global History and New Polycentric Approaches: Europe, Asia and the Americas in a World Network System

Perez Garcia - Book Cover


Manuel Perez Garcia, Shanghai Jiao Tong University / P.I. GECEM Project
Lucio de Sousa, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies


Patrick Manning, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of World History, Emeritus; University of Pittsburgh
Joseph P. McDermott, University of Cambridge
Bartolome Yun Casalilla, Pablo de Olavide University
Manuel Perez Garcia, Shanghai Jiao Tong University / P.I. GECEM Project

Brief description of the session:

The three first speakers will have 20 mins to present some general ideas of the book. Patrick Manning as an outstanding expert in the field of global history might introduce the current directions of global history and the contribution of this book in the field. Joseph P. McDermott will frame the book in the East Asian context through the case studies presented for the Asian region. In the same fashion Bartolome Yun will frame the book into the Atlantic context. Manuel Perez Garcia, in no more than 10 mins, will introduce the general ideas on the origins of this book co-edited with Lucio de Sousa, introducing at the end the Palgrave series in Comparative Global History https://www.palgrave.com/de/series/15711in which this book is included.

The last 20 minutes will be for Q&A.

Book Summary:

Rethinking the ways global history is envisioned and conceptualized in western and eastern countries, this book considers how global issues are connected in our local and national communities. It examines how global history has evolved in diverse historiographical traditions, from Europe to Latin America, as well as Asia, during the years of the rapid economic development of China. It pays attention to the revitalization of the field of global history in Chinese and Japanese historiography, which have been dominated by national narratives, fostering a debate to implement new comparisons and case studies by putting aside national specificities. Dealing with new approaches, using new historical data by framing proper questions and hypotheses and cross-referencing western and eastern sources, this text opens a new forum of discussion for the new global history. The book can be accessed for free here: https://www.palgrave.com/de/book/9789811040528

Book Session
Wednesday, 5:30-7:00pm
Where: Boston Marriott Cambridge, Discovery

Agricultural Development in the World Periphery: A Global Economic History Approach

Willebald - Book Cover


Vicente Pinilla
Henry Willebald


Giovanni Federico, Dipartimento di Economia e Management, Università di Pisa, Italy

This book brings together analysis on the conditions of agricultural sectors in countries and regions of the world’s peripheries, from a wide variety of international contributors. The contributors to this volume proffer an understanding of the processes of agricultural transformations and their interaction with the overall economies of Africa, Asia and Latin America. Looking at the nineteenth and twentieth centuries – the onset of modern economic growth – the book studies the relationship between agriculture and other economic sectors, exploring the use of resources (land, labour, capital) and the influence of institutional and technological factors in the long-run performance of agricultural activities. Pinilla and Willebald challenge the notion that agriculture played a negligible role in promoting economic development in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, when the impulse towards industrialization in the developing world was more impactful.

Editor Meet and Greet
Thursday, August 2, 10:30am
Where: Boston Marriott Cambridge, Ballroom, Palgrave Exhibit

Kent Deng, Series Editor for Palgrave Studies in Economic History

Join us for a Q&A session with Professor Kent Deng (LSE), Series Editor for Palgrave Studies in Economic History to learn how to get published in the series, topics of interest, how the series has grown and the types of formats Palgrave Macmillan publishes.

Series Information can be found here: https://www.palgrave.com/gp/campaigns/exploring-economic-history