Carola Binder, "Shock Values: Prices and Inflation in American Democracy" (U Chicago Press, 2024)


A sweeping history of the United States’ economy and politics, in Shock Values: Prices and Inflation in American Democracy (U Chicago Press, 2024), Carola Binder reveals how the American state has been shaped by a massive, ever-evolving effort to insulate its economy from the real and perceived dangers of price fluctuations. Carola Binder narrates how the pains of rising and falling prices have brought lasting changes for every generation of Americans. And with each brush with price instability, the United States has been reinvented—not as a more perfect union, but as a reflection of its most recent failures.

Shock Values tells the untold story of prices and price stabilization in the United States. Expansive and enlightening, Binder recounts the interest-group politics, legal battles, and economic ideas that have shaped a nation from the dawn of the republic to the present.

Carola Binder is Associate Professor and Chair of Economics at Haverford College. Twitter.

Brian Hamilton is chair of the Department of History and Social Science at Deerfield Academy. Twitter. Website.

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Brian Hamilton

Brian Hamilton is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Wisconsin–Madison where he is researching African American environmental history. A Maine native, he lives in Western Massachusetts and chairs the History and Social Science Department at Deerfield Academy.

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