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The Rise and Fall of the Neoliberal Order: America and the World in the Free Market Era

Date & Time

Apr. 11, 2022
4:00pm – 5:30pm ET


Zoom Webinar


In this book, Gary Gerstle deploys the powerful notion of ‘political order’ to examine America’s recent history—the past forty years when the nation fastened its fortunes to marketization, global economic integration, a harsh penal state, and sharpening inequality. Gerstle explores why so many Americans on both the right and left—Barry Goldwater and Steve Jobs, Ronald Reagan and Ralph Nader, Newt Gingrich and Bill Clinton—fell under neoliberalism’s spell.  He is the first to stress the role played by the Soviet Union’s collapse in securing the neoliberal order’s triumph.  And he is also the first to chart the story of the neoliberal order’s fall, beginning with the Iraq War and the Great Recession and culminating in the Trump and Sanders insurgencies of our own time.

Gary Gerstle is the Mellon Professor of American History Emeritus and the Mellon Director of Research at the University of Cambridge. He is the author and editor of more than ten books, including two prizewinners. American Crucible: Race and Nation in the Twentieth Century (2001; revised and expanded edition, 2017) and Liberty and Coercion: The Paradox of American Government from the Founding to the Present (2015). His influential co-edited collection of essays, The Rise and Fall of the New Deal Order, 1930-1980 (1989), is still in print. Gerstle is a Guardian columnist and has also written for the Atlantic Monthly, the New Statesman, Dissent, The Nation, and, among others. He frequently appears on BBC Radio 4, BBC World Service, Talking Politics, and NPR. He received his PhD from Harvard University and his BA from Brown 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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History and Public Policy Program

The History and Public Policy Program makes public the primary source record of 20th and 21st century international history from repositories around the world, facilitates scholarship based on those records, and uses these materials to provide context for classroom, public, and policy debates on global affairs.  Read more

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