OAH Distinguished Lecturer Profile

OAH Distinguished Lectureship program 40 years 1981-2021

Walter M. Licht

Portrait of Walter M. Licht

Walter M. Licht is the Walter H. Annenberg Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania.  His expertise lies in American economic and labor history, and he has special interests in the history of work and labor markets. He the author of Working for the Railroad: The Organization of Work in the Nineteenth Century (1983), which received the Philip Taft Labor History Prize; Getting Work: Philadelphia, 1840–1950 (1992); and Industrializing America: The Nineteenth Century (1995). He is also a coauthor of Work Sights: Industrial Philadelphia, 1890–1950 (1986) and The Face of Decline: The Pennsylvania Anthracite Region in the Twentieth Century (2005), which received the OAH Merle Curti Prize and the Pennsylvania Historical Association's Philip S. Klein Prize. Licht was awarded the top teaching prize at the University of Pennsylvania and held various administrative positions there as well, including a deanship and faculty directorship of Penn Civic House and the Penn Civic Scholars Program. He is now completing a book-length manuscript with the tentative title, "American Capitalisms: A Global History."

Featured Lecture

OAH Lectures

In this lecture, Licht explores the rise and fall of American manufacture and the implications for American workers and communities.
A lecture on the shifting place of organized labor in the United States.
In this lecture, Licht explores America's continuous embedding in global economic developments and international flows of goods, credit, currencies, and people.