Jason Scott Smith

Photo: Jason Scott Smith


Regents' Lecturer in Arts and Sciences

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:

Capitalism, Politics, Economy, Business and Labor in Modern American history.


Smith has taught courses on modern American history, the Great Depression, and the history of capitalism since joining the faculty in 2006.  He is the author of Building New Deal Liberalism: The Political Economy of Public Works, 1933-1956 and A Concise History of the New Deal, both published by Cambridge University Press.  A specialist in the history of capitalism and political economy, Smith’s research and teaching range from the nineteenth century through the global financial crisis of 2008.  Before coming to UNM, he held fellowships at the Harvard Business School, where he was the Harvard-Newcomen Postdoctoral Fellow in Business History, and at Cornell University, where he served for two years as a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in American Studies and visiting assistant professor of history and government.  In 2017, Smith received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award and was named the Mary Ball Washington Chair in American History at University College Dublin, Ireland.  He completed his Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley.

Recent/Select Publications:


A Concise History of the New Deal (Cambridge University Press, 2014)

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

Selected Essays:

“Beyond the New Deal: Thomas K. McCraw and the Political Economy of Capitalism” (written with Richard R. John), in Richard R. John and Kim Phillips-Fein, eds., Capital Gains: Business and Politics in Twentieth-Century America (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016), 95-116.

“The New Deal as a Democratic Project: The Great Depression and the United States,” translated by Jürgen Bauer and Edith Nerke as “Der New Deal als demokratisches Projekt: Die Weltwirtschaftskrise und die Vereinigten Staaten,” in Tim B. Müller and Adam Tooze, eds., Normalität und Fragilität: Demokratie nach dem Ersten Weltkrieg (Hamburg: Hamburger Edition, 2015), 496-511.

“The Great Transformation: The State and the Market in the Postwar World,” in James T. Sparrow, William J. Novak, and Stephen W. Sawyer, eds., Boundaries of the State in US History (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2015), 127-151.

“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: Oxford University Press, 2012), 107-122.

Other Writings:

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

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

A New Deal, Part II?  FDR’s Revolution Offers a Guide for Today. In USA Today, October 3, 2005, page 15A.


Selected Awards:

Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award, Mary Ball Washington Chair in American History, University College Dublin, Ireland, 2017-2018

Snead-Wertheim Endowed Lectureship in History and Anthropology, University of New Mexico, 2015-2016

Shoemaker Endowment Award, Department of History, University of New Mexico, 2014

Nominated for Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award, University of New Mexico, 2009

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, Department of History and Department of Government, Cornell University, 2004-2006

Harvard-Newcomen Postdoctoral Fellowship in Business History, Harvard Business School, 2001-2002

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




  • US History since 1877
  • 20th Century US History
  • From FDR to Obama
  • History of Capitalism
  • US Business and Labor History
  • Seminar: Liberalism, State, and Welfare
  • Seminar: Advanced Historiography