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My research, writing and teaching deal with the history of power in the modern age. The question that fascinates me is how economic and military power are articulated by politics, ideology and expert knowledge, in the struggle to bring order and shape to the modern world. In my first book, Statistics and the German State, I explored the new types of statistical knowledge that allowed the economy to be conceived as an object of government and the state to be thought of as a capable agent of national economic management. In the economic data available to contemporaries by the 1930s, the emergence of a new order structured around the preeminence of American economic power was unmistakable. Wages of Destruction showed how this was essential to understanding the ambition and violence of Hitler’s regime. Deluge can be thought of as a global prequel to Wages. It explores how during and after World War I all the major world powers responded to the rise of American power. Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World maps the latest chapter in the story of trans-Atlantic political and economic relations.
Look out for Adam’s next books, Lockdown: The Economic History of the COVID Crisis coming to print in 2021, and Carbon, out in 2023.
My métier is narrative history and I love the unpredictable adventure of archival research, but I draw on an eclectic range of influences. For a sense of what goes into the mix, check out the pages collecting my research writing, journalism pieces, and the musings on the blog.