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Insurance Era: Risk, Governance, and the Privatization of Security in Postwar America

Horan’s presentation, based on her book Insurance Era, will offer an introduction to the history of the insurance industry in the United States during the second half of the twentieth century. The presentation will underscore the social, cultural, and economic influence exerted by private insurers in the US, as well as the lasting impacts of the industry’s efforts to privatize security and diminish demand for public provision and collective risk sharing.

Date & Time

Monday
Dec. 6, 2021
4:00pm – 5:30pm ET

Overview

Horan’s presentation, based on her book Insurance Era, will offer an introduction to the history of the insurance industry in the United States during the second half of the twentieth century. The presentation will underscore the social, cultural, and economic influence exerted by private insurers in the US, as well as the lasting impacts of the industry’s efforts to privatize security and diminish demand for public provision and collective risk sharing.

Caley Horan is an associate professor of history at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her research focuses on the history of risk and prediction, capitalism and business, and the social life of economic ideas. Her first book is Insurance Era: Risk, Governance, and the Privatization of Security in Postwar America (University of Chicago Press, 2021). Horan holds a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota and a B.A. from Stanford University.

The Washington History Seminar is co-chaired by Eric Arnesen (George Washington University and the National History Center) and Christian Ostermann (Woodrow Wilson Center) and is organized jointly by the National History Center of the American Historical Association and the Woodrow Wilson Center's History and Public Policy Program. It meets weekly during the academic year. The seminar thanks its anonymous individual donors and institutional partners (the George Washington University History Department and the Lepage Center for History in the Public Interest) for their continued support.

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