Georgia State’s Department of History’s former instructor Mike O’Connor will be speaking on Thursday, June 19, at the Carter Center, in a conversation with David Sehat, an associate professor of history at Georgia State. O’Connor is the author of the recently published book A Commercial Republic: America’s Enduring Debate over Democratic Capitalism (on order), and Sehat is the author of the award-winning book The Myth of American Religious Freedom (2011).
As recently as 2008, when Presidents Bush and Obama acted to bail out the nation’s crashing banks and failing auto companies, the perennial objection erupted anew: government has no business in … business. In a new book, Mike O’Connor argues that those who cite history to decry government economic intervention are invoking a tradition that simply does not exist. From its founding to the present day, our commercial republic has always mixed—and battled over the proper balance of—politics and economics.
About A Commercial Republic: Contesting the claim that the modern-day libertarian conception of U.S. political economy represents the “natural” American economic philosophy, Mike O’Connor demonstrates that this perspective has served historically as only one among many. Beginning with the early national debate over the economic plans proposed by Alexander Hamilton, continuing through the legal construction of the corporation in the Gilded Age and the New Deal commitment to full employment, and concluding with contemporary concerns over lowering taxes, this book demonstrates how the debate over government intervention in the economy has illuminated the possibilities and limits of American democratic capitalism.
The event will take place at the Carter Center, 441 Freedom Parkway, in Atlanta (directions here), at 7:00 pm on Thursday, June 19, and will include a book signing. Books will be sold by A Cappella Books at the event. A Cappella’s event listing also includes information about purchasing signed copies even if you are unable to attend this event.