Biography


Raised in Baltimore, Maryland, Louis Hyman attended Columbia University, where he received a BA in History and Mathematics.


A former Fulbright scholar and McKinsey consultant, Hyman received his PhD in American history in 2007 from Harvard University. His dissertation received the Harold K. Gross Prize for best dissertation in history at Harvard and the Krooss prize for best dissertation in business history nationally. His first book, Debtor Nation: The History of America in Red Ink (Princeton University Press, 2011), focused on the history of the political economy of debt and was selected as one of the 2011 Choice Top 25 Outstanding Books of the Year. His second book, Borrow: The American Way of Debt (Vintage, 2012), explained how American culture shaped finance and in turn how finance shaped culture. 

His writings have appeared in the New York Times, The Atlantic, Wilson Quarterly, Bloomberg, CNBC, and other newspapers, journals, and blogs, as well as essay collections. He teaches the MOOC American Capitalism: A History through EdX and is the founding editor of the Columbia Studies in the History of U.S. Capitalism book series from Columbia University Press.

Currently he is working on a book entitled Temp: How American Work, American Business, and the American Dream Became Temporary to be published by Viking in 2018.

He is currently an associate professor in the Labor Relations, Law, and History department at the ILR school of Cornell University. He is also the Director of the Institute for Workplace Studies where he oversees a Future of Work research program.


His research focuses on the history of American capitalism, particularly the intersection of the government and the market in everyday economic practice.

He lives in New York City with his wife Katherine Howe.

Email: louishyman [at] cornell.edu