Herman E. Krooss Prize for Best Dissertation in Business History

Herman Krooss This prize consists of a $500 award (endowed) and a plaque. Only dissertations written in English will be considered. The Secretary-Treasurer will post notices about the prize in suitable newsletters, journals, guides, electronic media, and in the BHC's call for conference papers. Any dissertation in business history completed in the three calendar years immediately prior to the annual meeting can be nominated or considered, but may be submitted only once for the committee's consideration. Nominations (or self-nominations) are to consist of a cover letter, the dissertation abstract, and the author's c.v. and are to be sent to bhc@hagley.org. The prize committee is to consist of three members, one of whom will be the chair. Each member serves a three-year term, rotating onto the committee as junior member, then becoming chair, and then exiting after serving a final year as senior member. The Chair of the Krooss Prize Committee shall preside over the entire process and chair the plenary dissertation session at the BHC annual meeting. The committee will screen the materials from the nomination process and from these nominations draw up a short list of dissertations (roughly, 8 to 10) that the committee will consider as semifinalists. Authors will be notified and asked to send each committee member a copy of his or her dissertation. From these the committee will narrow the candidates down to no more than five finalists, who are to present their dissertations at the annual meeting. Selection of the winner is to be determined by the committee either prior to or following the presentations by finalists selected by the committee, depending on the committee's preference.


The Herman E. Krooss Prize was originally awarded in alternate years for the the best dissertation presented at the current and previous meetings of the BHC. In 1989, the Trustees voted to make the prize an annual award. It consists of a plaque and $500. From 1992 through 1999, the Krooss Prize-winning presentations were published in Business and Economic History; the full texts from 1992 to 1999 are available in the BEH Archives and are linked from the author's name in those years. Those published in Enterprise & Society are online and available via personal or institutional subscription.

[The titles given here are as they were listed for the BHC's Krooss Dissertation Session at the annual meeting; they may not replicate the thesis title exactly.]

2018: Rachel Gross

  • Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2017; advisor: William Cronon
  • “From Buckskin to Gore-Tex: Consumption as a Path to Mastery in Twentieth-Century American Wilderness Recreation".

2017: Gerardo Con Díaz

  • Ph.D., Yale University, 2016; advisor: Daniel J. Kevles
  • "Intangible Inventions: A History of Software Patenting in the United States, 1945-1985"

2016: Anne Fleming

  • Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, 2014; advisor: Sarah Barringer Gordon
  • "City of Debtors:  Law, Loan Sharks, and the Shadow Economy of Urban Poverty, 1900-1970"

2015: David Singerman

  • Ph.D., Massachusetts Insitute of Technology, 2014; advisor: David Kaiser
  • "Inventing Purity in the Atlantic Sugar World, 1860-1930"

2014: Heidi Tworek

  • Ph.D., Harvard University, 2012; advisor: Charles Maier
  • "Magic Connections: German News Agencies and Global News Networks, 1905-1945"

2013: Caitlin Rosenthal

  • Ph.D., Harvard University, 2012; advisors: Sven Beckert and Claudia Goldin
  • "From Memory to Mastery: Accounting for Control in America, 1740-1880"

2012: Alexia Yates

  • Ph.D., University of Chicago, 2010; advisor: Leora Auslander
  • "Selling Paris: Real Estate and Commercial Culture in the Fin-de-Siècle Capital

2011: Dan Bouk

  • Ph.D., Princeton University, 2009; advisor: Daniel T. Rodgers
  • "The Science of Difference: Developing Tools for Discrimination in the American Life Insurance Industry, 1830-1930"

2010: Josh Lauer

  • Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, 2008; advisor: Carolyn Marvin
  • "The Good Consumer: Credit Reporting and the Invention of Financial Identity in the United States, 1840-1940"

2009: Michael Easterly

  • Ph.D., History, University of California, Los Angeles, 2008; advisor: Naomi Lamoreaux
  • "Your Job is Your Credit: Creating a Market for Loans to Salaried Employees in New York City, 1885-1920"

2008: Louis Hyman

  • Ph.D., Harvard University, 2007; advisor: Lizabeth Cohen
  • "Debtor Nation: How Consumer Credit Built Postwar America"

2007: Bethany Moreton

  • Ph.D., Yale University, 2006; advisor: Glenda Gilmore
  • "The Soul of the Service Economy: Wal-Mart and the Making of Christian Free Enterprise, 1929-1994"

2006: Shane Hamilton

  • Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2005; advisor: Deborah K. Fitzgerald
  • "Trucking Country: Food Politics and the Transformation of Rural Life in Postwar America"

2005: Dalit Baranoff

  • Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University, 2004; advisor: Louis Galambos
  • "Shaped by Risk: The American Fire Insurance Industry, 1790-1920"

2005: Anna Spadevecchia

  • Ph.D., London School of Economics, 2003; advisor: Max-Stephan Schulze
  • "State Subsidies and the Sources of Company Finance in Italian Industrial Districts, 1951-1991"

2004: Tiffany Gill

  • Ph.D., Rutgers University, 2003; advisor: Deborah Gray White
  • "Civic Beauty: Beauty Culturists and the Politics of African American Female Entrepreneurship, 1900-1965"

2003: Gerben Bakker

  • Ph.D., European University Institute, 2001; advisor: Jaime Reis
  • "Entertainment Industrialized: The Emergence of the International Film Industry, 1890-1940"

2002: Jeffrey Hornstein

  • Ph.D., University of Maryland, 2001
  • "A Nation of Realtors: The Professionalization of Real Estate Brokerage and the Construction of a New Middle Class"

2001: Christopher McKenna

  • Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University; advisor: Louis Galambos
  • "The World's Newest Profession: Management Consulting in the Twentieth Century"

2000: Marina Moskowitz

  • Ph.D., Yale University, 1999; advisor: Jean-Christophe Agnew
  • "Standard Bearers: Material Culture and Middle-Class Communities at the Turn of the Twentieth Century"

1999: Lisa A. Marovich

  • Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles, 1998; advisor: Mary Yeager
  • "Fueling the Fires of Genius: Women's Inventive Activities in American War Eras"

1998: Ross Bassett

  • Ph.D., Princeton University, 1998; advisor: Michael S. Mahoney
  • "New Technology, New People, New Organizations: The Rise of the MOS Transistor, 1945-1975"

1997: Kolleen Guy

  • Ph.D., Indiana University, 1996; advisor: William Cohen
  • "Wine, Work, and Wealth: Class Relations and Modernization in the Champagne Wine Industry, 1870-1914"

1996: Regina Lee Blaszczyk

  • Ph.D., University of Delaware, 1995; advisors: David A. Hounshell and Anne M. Boylan
  • "Imagining Consumers: Manufacturers and Markets in Ceramics and Glass, 1865-1965"

1995: Jonathan Bean

  • Ph.D., The Ohio State University, 1994; advisors: Mansel Blackford, K. Austin Kerr, and William Childs
  • "Beyond the Broker State: A History of the Federal Government's Policies toward Small Business, 1936-61"

1994: Rosalind Remer

  • Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles, 1991; advisor: Joyce Appleby
  • "Building an American Book Trade: Philadelphia Publishing in the New Republic"

1993: Victoria Saker Woeste

  • Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley, 1990; advisors: Harry N. Scheiber and Morton Rothstein
  • "Cooperatives and Corporations: The Sun-Maid Antitrust Case and the Legal Status of Agricultural Cooperatives, 1890-1943"

1992: Margaret Levenstein

  • Ph.D., Yale University, 1991; Dissertation Advisor: William N. Parker and David F. Weiman
  • "Information Systems and Internal Organization: A Study of the Dow Chemical Company, 1890-1914"

1991: David Sicilia

  • Ph.D., Brandeis University, 1991; advisors: Morton Keller and Alfred D. Chandler, Jr.
  • "Selling Power: Marketing and Monopoly at Boston Edison, 1886-1926"

1990: Richard R. John

  • Ph.D., Harvard University, 1989; advisors: Alfred D. Chandler, Jr., and David Herbert Donald
  • "Spreading the Word: The Postal System and the Creation of American Society"

1989: Helen Shapiro

  • Ph.D., Yale University, 1988; advisors: William N. Parker and Albert Fishlow
  • "State Intervention and Industrialization: The Origins of the Brazilian Automotive Industry"

1987-1988: Sally Clarke

  • Ph.D., Brown University, 1987; advisor: Naomi Lamoreaux
  • "Farmers as Entrepreneurs: Regulation and Innovation in American Agriculture in the Twentieth Century"

1985-1986: Paul J. Miranti, Jr.

  • Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University, 1985; advisor: Louis Galambos
  • "From Conflict to Consensus: The American Institute of Accountants and the Professionalization of Public Accountancy, 1886-1940"