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Book Talk: The Political Development of American Debt Relief

October 30, 2023

12:15 pm - 1:30 pm

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WCC; 4059 Room

Abbye Atkinson (Berkeley), Chloe Thurston (Northwestern), and Emily Zackin (Johns Hopkins) will discuss the forthcoming book, The Political Development of American Debt Relief (University of Chicago Press, 2024) written by Emily Zackin and Chloe N. Thurston

Americans have a long history with debt. They also have a long history of mobilizing for debt relief. Throughout the nineteenth century, indebted citizens demanded government protection from their financial burdens, challenging readings of the Constitution that exalted property rights at the expense of the vulnerable. Their appeals shaped the country’s periodic experiments with state debt relief and federal bankruptcy law, constituting a pre-industrial safety net. Yet, the twentieth century saw the erosion of debtor politics and the eventual retrenchment of bankruptcy protections.

The Political Development of American Debt Relief traces how geographic, sectoral, and racial politics shaped debtor activism over time, enhancing our understanding of state-building, constitutionalism, and social policy.

Additional event information can be found here:

Lunch will be provided.

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October 30, 2023, 12:15 pm - 1:30 pm

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