BORROW: The American Way of Debt

Friday, February 10, 2012 6:30 - 8:30pm

Add to Calendar

How Personal Credit Created the American Middle Class and Almost Bankrupted the Nation

Talk and Book Signing with Author Louis Hyman at The Cooper Union

Free and open to the public

In BORROW: The American Way of Debt—How Personal Credit Created the American Middle Class and Almost Bankrupted the Nation, economist Louis Hyman delivers an accessible and informed history on the rise of personal borrowing in the United States, demonstrating that today’s problems are not as new as we think.  Hyman describes the evolution of personal loans, finding that our borrowing patterns are similar to our grandparents, but higher basic expenses, stagnating wages and increased economic competition from abroad have made it harder to repay our debts.

Louis Hyman attended Columbia University, where he received a BA in History and Mathematics. A former Fulbright scholar, he received his PhD in American history in 2007 from Harvard University. He is currently an assistant professor in Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations, where he teaches history.

The Cooper Union – Rose Auditorium, 41 Cooper Square (entrance on 7th St at 3rd Ave), NYC, 10003
Subways: Astor Place (6), 8th Street (N, R)

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.