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Awards & Fellowships

Michael Zakim




Address: Department of History
              Tel Aviv University
              Tel Aviv  6997801



Tel: 972-54-9097895


B.A., Oberlin College, 1981 (highest honors in history)

B.Mus., Oberlin College, 1981 (clarinet performance)

M.A., Columbia University, 1992

M.Phil., Columbia University, 1994

Ph.D., Columbia University, 1998 (with distinction)


History of the economy (including labor history); political theory; material culture; sociology of knowledge; fashion; the history of photography; history of the body; gender.




Paper: A Global History, Van Leer Institute, Jerusalem, forthcoming in Hebrew.

Accounting for Capitalism: The World the Clerk Made, University of Chicago Press, 2018.

Introduction: The Clerk Problem

Ready-Made Democracy: A History of Men’s Dress in the American Republic, 1760-1860, University of Chicago Press, 2003 (paperback edition, 2005).




Edited Projects


Karl Polanyi, The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of our Time, Hebrew edition, Van Leer Institute, Jerusalem, 2021.

Knowledge and Its Uses, a special issue of the Journal of the Early Republic, vol. 38 (Fall 2018).

Capitalism Takes Command: the Social Transformation of Nineteenth-Century America (with Gary Kornblith), University of Chicago Press, 2012.

Hard Times, a special issue of Common-place, vol. 3, no. 3 (April 2010).

Privacy: A History (with Milette Shamir), a special issue of the historical quarterly Zmanim 104 (Fall 2008), in Hebrew.

The Body in History, a special issue of the historical quarterly Zmanim 78 (Spring 2002), in Hebrew.




Articles and Chapters


"Individualism in America: Alexis de Tocqueville Discovers a New World of Liberal Politics," Critical Historical Studies, forthcoming.

"Fixing Liberalism: Responding to A Theory of Liberal Property by Hanoch Dagan," Tel-Aviv University Law Review, 2021, in Hebrew.

"Human Capital," Introduction to the Hebrew edition of Karl Polanyi, The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of our Time, Van Leer Institute, Jerusalem, 2021, in Hebrew.

“The Political Geometry of Statistical Tables,” Journal of the Early Republic, vol. 38 (Fall 2018).

“Knowledge and Its Uses,” Journal of the Early Republic, vol. 38 (Fall 2018).


“Importing the Crystal Palace,” American Capitalism: New Histories, Sven Beckert and Christine Desan, eds. (Columbia University Press, 2018).


Capitalism and Slavery in the United States,” Routledge History of Nineteenth-Century America, Jonathan Daniel Wells, ed. (Routledge, 2018).


“The Business of Writing,” Edinburgh Companion to Nineteenth-Century American Letters and Letter-Writing (Edinburgh University Press, 2016).


“The Best of Intentions,” Dissent, Winter 2015.


“The Economy of Fashion,” Dream Weavers (Beit Hatfusot, 2014), in Hebrew.

“Bringing the Economy Back In,” Reviews in American History, vol. 42, no. 3 (September 2014).

“Paperwork,” Raritan, vol. xxxiii, no. 4 (Spring 2014).

“Capitalism as Progress,” Odyssey, no. 22 (January 2014), in Hebrew.

“Desk Diseases,” Journal of Cultural Economy, vol. 6, no. 1 (2013).

“A Democracy of Common Men,” in A Companion to the Era of Andrew Jackson, Sean Patrick Adams, ed., Wiley-Blackwell (2013).

“An American Revolutionary Tradition” (with Gary Kornblith), introduction to Capitalism Takes Command: the Social Transformation of Nineteenth-Century America, Michael Zakim and Gary Kornblith, eds. (University of Chicago Press, 2012).

“Producing Capitalism: the Clerk at Work,” in Capitalism Takes Command: the Social Transformation of Nineteenth-Century America, Michael Zakim and Gary Kornblith, eds. (University of Chicago Press, 2012).

 “The Birth of the Clothing Industry in America, 1815-1860,” in A Perfect Fit; the Garment Industry and American Jewry (Texas Tech University Press, 2012).

“Intellectual Property in the Age of Capital,” a response to Stephen Wilf, Theoretical Inquiries in Law, vol. 12, no. 1 (2011)

“Inventing Industrial Statistics,” Money Matters: The Law, Politics, and Economics of Currency, a special issue of Theoretical Inquiries in Law, vol. 11, no. 1 (2010).

“Statistics-for-Profit,” in Measuring Everything (Ben Gurion University Press, 2010), in Hebrew.

“The Best of Times and the Worst of Times,” introduction to Hard Times, a special issue of Common-place, vol. 3, no. 3 (April 2010).

"I Make Myself Sick: On the Pathologies of American Individualism," Zmanim 104 (Fall 2008), in Hebrew.

“The History of Privacy” (with Milette Shamir), Zmanim 104 (Fall 2008), in Hebrew.

“Free Soil, Free Labor, and Free Markets: Merchant Clerks, Industrial Statistics, and the Tautologies of Profit,” in Contested Democracy: Freedom, Race, and Power in American History, edited by Manisha Sinha and Penny von Eschen (Columbia University Press, 2007).

“The Business Clerk as Social Revolutionary: A Labor History of the Non-Producing Classes,” Journal of the Early Republic, vol. 26, no. 4 (2006).

“Bookkeeping as Ideology: Capitalist Knowledge in Nineteenth-Century America,” Common-place, vol. 6, no. 3 (April 2006).

“The Dialectics of Merchant Capital: New York City Businessmen during the Secession Winter, 1860-1861,” New York History, vol. 87, no. 1 (Winter 2006).

“Seamstresses and Whores: Working Women, Women’s Work, and the Rise of the Middle Class,” Historia 15 (2005), in Hebrew.

“The Profitable Body,” Zmanim 78 (Spring 2002), in Hebrew.

“The Body in History,” Zmanim 78 (Spring 2002), in Hebrew.

“Sartorial Ideologies: From Homespun to Ready-Made,” American Historical Review, vol. 106, no. 5 (December 2001).

Reprinted in Peter McNeil, Critical and Primary Sources on Fashion, Oxford: Berg, 2008.

“Capitalism, Capitalists, and the War Against Slavery,” in The Liberal Tradition in America, Arnon Gutfeld, ed., Tel Aviv:  Zmora-Beitan, 2001, in Hebrew.

"Men in Control: Masturbation as an Historical Subject," Helicon 36 (Winter 2000), in Hebrew.

"A Ready-Made Business: The Birth of the Clothing Industry in America," Business History Review 73 (Spring 1999).

“Capitalism, Democracy, and the Business Suit,” Zmanim 66 (Spring 1999), in Hebrew.

“Customizing the Industrial Revolution: The Reinvention of Tailoring in the Nineteenth Century,” Winterthur Portfolio, vol. 33, no. 1 (Spring 1998).

Reprinted in McNeil and Karaminas, Men’s Fashion Reader, Oxford: Berg, 2008.

“What is a Political History of Clothing?” Library Columns, (Spring 1997).



Three Conversations on the History of Capitalism (in Hebrew) 1 2 3

Three Conversations on Slavery in America (in Hebrew) 1 2 3

Accounting for Capitalism: The World the Clerk Made 1


Editorial Board, Journal of the Early Republic (2017-2021), Common-place, Critical Studies in Men's Fashion

Affiliated Faculty, Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, Tel Aviv University

Distinguished Lecturer, Organization of American Historians

Co-Director, Warren Center Workshop on the History of American Capitalism, Harvard University, 2015-16

New England Regional Consortium Fellowship, 2015-16

Research Fellow, Hoover Institute Library, Stanford University, 2015

Gilder-Lehrman Institute in American History Research Fellowship, 2015

Humanities Faculty Teaching Award, Tel Aviv University, 2015

Israel Science Foundation Research Grant, 2014-16


Rector’s Teaching Award, Tel Aviv University, 2013


Israel Science Foundation Research Grant, 2008-10


Vice President’s Award for Scholarship, Tel Aviv University, 2007


Dean’s Prize for Excellence in Teaching, 2003


Gilder Lehrman Fellow in American Civilization, 2002


European Seminar on Consumption and Gender, 2000-1


Bancroft Dissertation Award, Columbia University, 1998


Allan Nevins Dissertation Prize (nomination), OAH, 1998


Dissertation with Distinction, Columbia University, 1998


Mrs. Giles Whiting Fellow in the Humanities, 1997-8


Rovensky Fellow in American Business and Economic History, 1996-7


President’s Fellow, Columbia University, 1993-1996


Hagley Research Fellow, Hagley Library of Business and Technology, 1995


Richard Hofstadter Fellow in History, Columbia University, 1991-2


Highest Honors in History, Oberlin College, 1981


Concerto Finalist, Oberlin Conservatory of Music, 1980


New York City: An American History

The Invention of Modernity

A History of Sexuality 

Economy and Modernity from Hobbes to Hayek

The Machine Age

The Sovereign Economy: Capitalism in America

Material Culture in the Industrial Century

Democracy in America

The Birth of the Modern Body, or How the Bourgeoisie Reinvented Nature in its

     Own Image

A Politial History of the Economy

Slavery and Race in the Americas, 1500-1900

Society, Politics, and Culture: A Survey of American History

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