Freaks of Fortune: The Emerging World of Capitalism and Risk in America

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Harvard University Press, Oct 29, 2012 - Business & Economics - 360 pages
Until the nineteenth century, “risk” was a specialized term: it was the commodity exchanged in a marine insurance contract. Freaks of Fortune tells how the modern concept of risk emerged in the United States. Born on the high seas, risk migrated inland and became essential to the financial management of an inherently uncertain capitalist future.
 

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Solid intellectual history of the manner in which the effort to control the uncertainty inherent in capitalism has led to a increasingly convoluted schemes to insure against risk. Of special interest ... Read full review

Contents

Voyage
1
1 The Assumption of Risk
7
2 The Perils of the Seas
21
3 The Actuarial Science of Freedom
60
4 The Failure of the Freedmans Bank
104
5 Betting the Farm
150
6 Fraternity in the Age of Capital
191
7 Trading the Future
231
8 The Trust Question
264
Freaks of Fortune
308
Appendix
319
Notes
325
Acknowledgments
395
Index
399
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About the author (2012)

Jonathan Levy is Assistant Professor of History at Princeton University.

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