Are you a history lover? Join historian NOAM MAGGOR at the Boston Public Library. Maggor’s book Gilded Age, Brahmin Capitalism: Frontiers of Wealth and Populism in America’s First Gilded Age explores how the moneyed elite in Boston―the quintessential East Coast establishment―leveraged their wealth to forge transcontinental networks of commodities, labor, and transportation.
The Civil War came as a crushing blow to the moneyed elite of Boston, who had been deeply embedded in the cotton economy of the early 19th century as textile manufacturers. With the abolition of slavery and the decline of cotton manufacturing in New England, however, these Boston “Brahmins” revitalized themselves through new business opportunities in the mines, railroads and stockyards of the West. They moved capital from older industries to emerging ones, paving the way for the integrated corporate capitalism of the 20th century.
Maggor is currently a postdoctoral associate and visiting lecturer in the Department of History at Cornell University. He was previously a Charles Warren Center Fellow at Harvard University, Thomas Arthur Arnold Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of Historical Studies at Tel Aviv University, and a senior lecturer in the Department of History at Vanderbilt University.
Certain books were “banned in Boston” at least as far back as 1651, when one William Pynchon wrote a book criticizing Puritanism.