Harold James (historian)
Harold James is a renowned historian, specializing in the history of Germany
History of Germany
The concept of Germany as a distinct region in central Europe can be traced to Roman commander Julius Caesar, who referred to the unconquered area east of the Rhine as Germania, thus distinguishing it from Gaul , which he had conquered. The victory of the Germanic tribes in the Battle of the...

 and European economic history. James is a prolific author, having published dozens of books and articles in his field. He is currently a Professor of History at Princeton University
Princeton University
Princeton University is a private research university located in Princeton, New Jersey, United States. The school is one of the eight universities of the Ivy League, and is one of the nine Colonial Colleges founded before the American Revolution....

 as well as a Professor of International Affairs at the University's Woodrow Wilson School.


Harold James was born and raised in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

. He attended the The Perse School in Cambridge
The city of Cambridge is a university town and the administrative centre of the county of Cambridgeshire, England. It lies in East Anglia about north of London. Cambridge is at the heart of the high-technology centre known as Silicon Fen – a play on Silicon Valley and the fens surrounding the...

. He completed his undergraduate education at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge
Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge
Gonville and Caius College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge in Cambridge, England. The college is often referred to simply as "Caius" , after its second founder, John Keys, who fashionably latinised the spelling of his name after studying in Italy.- Outline :Gonville and...

 and received his Ph.D. at Peterhouse, Cambridge
Peterhouse, Cambridge
Peterhouse is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge, England. It is the oldest college of the University, having been founded in 1284 by Hugo de Balsham, Bishop of Ely...

 in 1982. At Cambridge University
University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge is a public research university located in Cambridge, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest university in both the United Kingdom and the English-speaking world , and the seventh-oldest globally...

 he received the Ellen MacArthur Prize for Economic History. He began teaching at Princeton in 1986. In 2004 the German Historical Institute
German Historical Institute
German Historical Institute are five independent academic research institutes situated in Rome, London, Washington, D.C., Warsaw and Moscow, dedicated to the study of historical relations between Germany and the host countries in which they are based, along with four other institutions, in Paris,...

 in Washington, D.C. awarded him the Helmut Schmidt Prize in Economic History. He serves on the editorial committee of the journal World Politics and is member of the Academic Advisory Council of The European Association for Banking and Financial History
The European Association for Banking and Financial History
The European Association for Banking History e.V. was founded in 1990 in Frankfurt, Germany by Professor Manfred Pohl, as a forum for research into the history of banking, insurance and finance...


James is married to Marzenna Kowalik (1964 – ), a political scientist specializing in Polish-Soviet economic relations. They have three children. Marzenna James is currently a Lecturer in the Department of Politics at Princeton University.

German History

In the earlier part of his career, James focused on modern German history, particularly German financial history in the interwar era. Among his major contributions to the field are a detailed study of the Deutsche Bank
Deutsche Bank
Deutsche Bank AG is a global financial service company with its headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany. It employs more than 100,000 people in over 70 countries, and has a large presence in Europe, the Americas, Asia Pacific and the emerging markets...

, an examination of the role of the Reichsbank
The Reichsbank was the central bank of Germany from 1876 until 1945. It was founded on 1 January 1876 . The Reichsbank was a privately owned central bank of Prussia, under close control by the Reich government. Its first president was Hermann von Dechend...

 in seizing Jewish financial assets during the Nazi era, and a reappraisal of the peculiar nature of the German national identity. James' explanation of the evolution of the German identity places particular emphasis on an 'economic identity' which provided impetus for unification in the early 19th century.In 1992 he was appointed a member of the Independent Commission of Experts (ICE) which was set up by the Swiss parliament to examine the refugee policy of Switzerland during WWII as well as economic and financial relationships between Switzerland and Nazi Germany.


Harold James has written extensively on the economic implications of globalization
Globalization refers to the increasingly global relationships of culture, people and economic activity. Most often, it refers to economics: the global distribution of the production of goods and services, through reduction of barriers to international trade such as tariffs, export fees, and import...

, drawing comparisons with historical attempts at globalization which ended with the Great Depression
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

 in 1929. James argues the Great Depression must not be considered as only an American phenomenon, but instead as a global economic crisis. He examines the contemporary issues associated with globalization in the context of larger economic trends, which were disrupted by the World Wars and the Great Depression.


His publications include
  • Reichsbank and Public Finance in Germany, 1924-1933 (1985) ISBN 3-7819-0321-4
  • German Slump: Politics and Economics, 1924-1936 (1986) ISBN 0-19-821972-5
  • A German Identity, 1770-1990 (1989) ISBN 0-297-79504-X
  • Role of Banks in the Interwar Economy (Cambridge University Press, 1991) ISBN 0-521-39437-6
  • When the Wall Came Down (Routledge, 1992) ISBN 0-415-90589-3
  • Zerrissene Zwischenkriegszeit (1994) ISBN 3-7890-3367-7
  • International Monetary Cooperation Since Bretton Woods (Oxford University Press, 1996) ISBN 0-19-510113-8
  • Monetary and Fiscal Unification in Nineteenth Century Germany (1997) ISBN 0-88165-109-5
  • Third Reich: The Essential Readings (1999) ISBN 0-631-20700-7
  • Requiem auf eine Währung: die Mark, 1873-2001 (Stuttgart, 2001) ISBN 3-421-05568-8
  • The End of Globalization: Lessons from the Great Depression (Harvard University Press, 2001). ISBN 0-674-00474-4
  • Verbandspolitik im Nationalsozialismus, von der Interessenvertretung zur Wirtschaftsgruppe (München, 2001) ISBN 3-492-04335-6
  • Deutsche Bank and the Nazi economic war against the Jews (Cambridge, 2001) ISBN 0-521-80329-2
  • Enterprise in the Period of Fascism in Europe (ed) (Ashgate, 2002) ISBN 0-7546-0077-7
  • Interwar Depression in an International Context (2002) ISBN 3-486-56610-5
  • Europe Reborn: A History 1914-2000 (Pearson Longman, 2003) ISBN 0-582-21533-1
  • International Financial History in the Twentieth Century (2003) ISBN 0-521-81995-4
  • Nazi Dictatorship and the Deutsche Bank (Cambridge University Press, 2004) ISBN 0-521-83874-6
  • Family Capitalism: Wendels, Haniels, Falcks, and the Continental European Model (Harvard University Press, 2006) ISBN 0-674-02181-9
  • The Roman Predicament: How the Rules of International Order Create the Politics of Empire (Princeton University Press, 2006) ISBN 0-691-12221-0
  • The Creation and Destruction of Value: The Globalization Cycle (Harvard University Press, 2009) ISBN 0674035844

Harold James has also authored dozens of articles in professional journals on the topics of German economic history, globalization, and other topics.

External links

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