Noam Maggor is a historian of the United States in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with a particular emphasis on the emergence of industrial capitalism. His recently-published book Brahmin Capitalism: Frontiers of Wealth and Populism in America's First Gilded Age (Harvard University Press 2017), is a finance-driven and urban-centered account of the transformation of American capitalism at the end of the nineteenth century. It explores how the United States shifted from its former position in the world economy as an exporter of agricultural commodities – cotton, above all – to an industrial nation and imperial power on the world stage. In particular, the book analyzes the creation of an interconnected national market, which has long been viewed as immutable and technologically-driven, as a contentious and highly malleable political project. It more generally examines economic change as politically constituted and deeply ideological, transcending conceptual divides between economics, politics, culture, and society.
His new project, tentatively entitled "The United States as a Developing Nation," interrogates the integration of vast territories of what became the American West into the economic orbit of the United States. With renewed attention to the core concerns of political economy, it aims to position the Western U.S. comparatively alongside other global peripheries – in Russia, Egypt, India, and Latin America – that were aggressively pulled in this period into the world economy.