Nelson Lichtenstein

Nelson Lichtenstein

Nelson Lichtenstein holds the MacArthur Foundation Chair in History and directs the Center for the Study of Work, Labor, and Democracy at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is a student of U.S. capitalism in all of its dimensions and has long been particularly interested in its leading players, first studying the automotive industry and now considering Walmart and similar retailers. He is a coeditor, most recently, of Achieving Workers’ Rights in the Global Economy (2016); The Port Huron Statement: Sources and Legacies of the New Left’s Founding Manifesto (2015); The ILO From Geneva to the Pacific Rim (2015); and The Right and Labor in America: Politics, Ideology, and Imagination (2012). He is also the author of The Retail Revolution: How Wal-Mart Created a Brave New World of Business (2009) and a coauthor of Who Built America? Working People and the Nation's History, vol. 2 (revised, 2007). An elected member of the Society of American Historians, he is also the recipient of the Sidney Hillman Foundation's Sol Stetin Award for lifetime achievement in labor history.


  • Is There Any Hope for Labor? A Look Back and a Glimpse at the Future
  • Leadership in Global Business: How to Distinguish between Hype and History
  • Triumphalism and Apocalypse: How American Intellectuals Have Thought About Capitalism in the Last Century
  • Walmart and World History: How the Big Store is Reshaping Society and Economy
  • Why Clark Kerr's Vision of Higher Education is Still Relevant and Controversial


The "Fissured Workplace" and Fate of the Working Class

This lecture was sponsored by the history department of Mountain View College in Dallas, Texas, in April 2016.

Visit the OAH YouTube channel for more audio and video recordings.