Jennifer Delton


On her book The Industrialists: How the National Association of Manufacturers Shaped American Capitalism

Cover Interview of April 15, 2020


I was finishing up this book as Donald Trump won the Republican nomination and then the presidency, promising to restore American manufacturing—by reinstating tariffs and closing immigration. Over its 125-year existence, NAM had consistently favored lower tariffs, more liberal immigration policies, and the free and open exchange of goods and services. It had adjusted to the changes wrought by its own support for globalization. So Trump’s promises to reinstate a protectionist, nativist regime were hardly comforting, even though his focus on manufacturing was welcome. To the extent that President Trump is often seen as part of the backlash to globalization, this book could not be timelier, since the main narrative thread is about the globalization of U.S.-style capitalism.