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Headshot: Benjamin C. Waterhouse is in a suit against a teal and gold background

Benjamin Waterhouse is a historian of modern America. His scholarly research focuses on the culture and politics of business in the United States, especially since the mid-twentieth century.

Waterhouse is an associate professor in the Department of History in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Waterhouse offers courses in American business history, modern U.S. social and political history, the history of capitalism, and the history of finance and financial crises. He is also faculty director of the Office of Distinguished Scholarships.

His first book, Lobbying America: The Politics of Business from Nixon to NAFTA (Princeton University Press, 2014) examined the role of large, national business associations—and their lobbyists—in shaping economic policy and conservative politics between the 1960s and the 1990s. His second book, The Land of Enterprise: A Business History of the United States (Simon & Schuster, 2017), provided a synthetic treatment of American business, labor, and politics from the colonial period until the 2008 Financial Crisis. His third book, One Day I’ll Work for Myself: The Dream and Delusion that Conquered America (W. W. Norton, 2024), explores how so many Americans came to believe that self-employment was the key not only to personal fulfillment but also to national economic growth. This work was supported through a grant received from UNC’s Institute for the Arts and Humanities.

Other works have appeared in, Financial History, and Jacobin, among other outlets, and he has contributed several book reviews and op-eds to The Washington Post.