Cornell University

March 7 2014

Open to the World

"American Capitalism: A History" course starts March 17

How did a colonial backwater explode into an economic powerhouse that transformed not only its home continent but the world, in the blink of an historical eye?

As we head into the global scrum that is 21st century economics, understanding the successes and excesses of American capitalism will be an essential primer for political and financial survival.

And, that primer is free and open to the world.

Beginning March 17, Cornell professors Louis Hyman of ILR and Edward Baptist of the Arts & Sciences College invite students, scholars and citizens everywhere to join them for “American Capitalism: A History.”

The massive open online course – “MOOC,” for short – is offered through a partnership with the non-profit learning platform edX.

Hyman, who researches labor, business and consumer history in the United States, is the author of “Debtor Nation: The History of America in Red Ink” and “Borrow: The American Way of Debt.”

Baptist is an historian who focuses on American economic expansion. He is the author of “The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism.”

Together, they will offer a chance to explore the people, markets and investments that created the world in which we live today. Participants will learn about capitalism's radical reorganization of investment and work in the past few hundred years.

The course is free and open to the public.

To learn more or sign up:

  • Cornell’s course description, including video and a link to register, is here
  • Find “American Capitalism: A History” at edX
  • Connect with “American Capitalism” at Google+
  • Follow the course and interact with the professors on Facebook
  • The complete set of 151 podcasts from the course is on iTunes
  • A series of more than 20 short videos by Hyman and Baptist – exploring topics from “Neoliberal Panics” to Henry Ford and the economic impact of slavery – can be viewed at the Cornell X YouTube channel. 
  • Baptist and Hyman outline their reason for faith in the future of MOOCs in this Huffington Post piece.