6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center

Behemoth: A History of the Factory and the Making of the Modern World

We live in a factory-made world: modern life is built on three centuries of advances in factory organization and technology. Giant factories have fueled both our dreams and our nightmares about the future.  Professor Freeman tells the story of the factory, from the textile mills in England and New England, to the colossal steel and automobile plants of twentieth-century America, Eastern Europe, and the Soviet Union, to today's behemoths making sneakers and cellphones in China and Vietnam.

Joshua B. Freeman is Distinguished Professor of History at Queens College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York.  He received his B.A. from Harvard University and Ph.D. from Rutgers University.  His previous books include American Empire, 1945-2000: The Rise of a Global Power; the Democratic Revolution at Home (2012) and Working-Class New York: Life and Labor since World War II (2000).  Behemoth: A History of the Factory and the Making of the Modern World (2018) has won praise from The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Review of Books, The Economist, and The Guardian.

The Washington History Seminar is co-chaired by Eric Arnesen (George Washington University) and Christian Ostermann (Woodrow Wilson Center) and is sponsored jointly by the National History Center of the American Historical Association and the Wilson Center's History and Public Policy Program. It meets weekly during the academic year. The seminar thanks the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations and the George Washington University History Department for their support.

Speakers

Moderator

  • Christian F. Ostermann

    Director, History and Public Policy Program; Cold War International History Project; North Korea Documentation Project; Nuclear Proliferation International History Project
    Woodrow Wilson Center
  • Eric Arnesen

    Fellow
    Professor of History, The George Washington University

Speakers

  • Joshua B. Freeman

    Distinguished Professor of History at Queens College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York