Not What it Used to Be: The Cambridge Economic History of The United States, vols. II and III

Document Type

Book Review

Publication Date



Economic History Association / Cambridge University Press


The long awaited publication of volumes II and III of the Cambridge Economic History of the United States (hereafter CEHUS) is a landmark in the historiography of the U.S. economy (volume I, on the colonial economy, appeared in 1996). A decade in the making, and appearing after the untimely death of one of its editors, Robert Gallman, these volumes will without doubt be accessed and accessed frequently as reference works in the twenty-first century. Not since 1972, when, under the editorial leadership of Lance Davis, Richard Easterlin, and William Parker, Harper and Row published American Economic Growth: An Economist's History of the United States has a comparable multi-author work been attempted. In the event, ten of the original 12 contributors to that work are here for a return engagement.