Jason Scott Smith


Photo: Jason Scott Smith

Email: jssmith@unm.edu
Phone: (505) 277-2451
Office: Mesa Vista 2098


B.A. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
M.A. University of California, Berkeley
Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley

Research Interests:

20th Century United States

Research Statement:

Political History, Political Economy, History of Capitalism, Business, Labor, and the State


An award-winning author and teacher, Professor Smith is a specialist in the history of capitalism. His first book,

Building New Deal Liberalism: The Political Economy of Public Works, 1933-1956 (Cambridge University Press, 2006), received the 2007 Abel Wolman Award for the best book in public works history. After completing his Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley, he held fellowships at Harvard and Cornell before joining the UNM faculty. Smith has written articles and essays for a number of publications, including USA Today, Reviews in American History, Journal of Social History, Pacific Historical Review, and Journal of Interdisciplinary History.  Most recently, he completed A Concise History of the New Deal for Cambridge University Press's "Essential Histories" series.

Recent/Select Publications:

Building New Deal Liberalism: The Political Economy of Public Works, 1933-1956 (Cambridge University Press, 2006)

Selected Essays:

“The Liberal Invention of the Multinational Corporation: David Lilienthal and Postwar
Capitalism,” in Kim Phillips-Fein and Julian E. Zelizer, eds., What’s Good for Business: Business and Politics since World War II (Oxford University Press, 2012).

“The Transformation of the Cold War State: From Welfare to Security,” in Kathleen G.
Donohue, ed., Liberty and Justice for All? Rethinking Politics in Cold War America (University of Massachusetts Press, 2012).

“The Fair Deal,” in Daniel S. Margolies, ed., A Blackwell Companion to Harry S.
Truman (Blackwell Publishing, 2012).

Other Writings:

“Why Privatizing the TVA Would Be a Dam Shame,” in Bloomberg View: Echoes,
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-19/why-privatizing-the-tva-would-be-a-dam-shame.html, April 19, 2013.

“Remember the CWA, A Government Jobs Program That Worked,” in Bloomberg View:
Echoes, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-08/remember-the-cwa-a-government-jobs-program-that-worked-echoes.html, November 8, 2011.


Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award, University of New Mexico, Spring 2009 (nominated).

Abel Wolman Award for Best Book in Public Works History [for Building New Deal
Liberalism], from the Public Works Historical Society and the American Public Works Association, 2007. 

Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in American Studies, Cornell University, Department of
History and Department of Government.  July 2004-June 2006.

Harvard-Newcomen Postdoctoral Fellowship in Business History, Harvard University,
Graduate School of Business Administration, July 2001-June 2002.

Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award for Teaching Excellence, University of
California, Berkeley, Spring 2001.


  • US History to 1877
  • US History since 1877
  • 20th Century US History
  • Recent American History
  • History of Capitalism
  • US Business and Labor History
  • Seminar: Liberalism, State, and Welfare