I’m a history professor at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. I teach courses on a variety of subjects in the field of US history, including courses on the history of democracy in USA, the history of capitalism, military history, the New Deal, and the military-industrial complex. Currently I’m also serving as the director of the university’s Capitalism Studies program. You can follow me on Twitter at @ProfMarkWilson.
I’m a historian of military-industrial relations and war mobilizations in US history. My early work focused on the era of the US Civil War; subsequently, I wrote a new history of the business and politics of the US industrial mobilization for World War II. At present, I’m at work on a new book project that explores the development of the so-called military-industrial complex in the USA, from the 1950s into the early 21st century.
Media / Policy
My work on World War II industrial mobilization history has attracted some interest in recent years from people curious about how the lessons of that mobilization might be applied to efforts to address the COVID pandemic, or the climate emergency.
Here’s a link to my March 2020 piece in Politico Magazine, “The 5 WWII Lessons That Could Help the Government Fight Coronavirus”
In 2016, Bill McKibben discussed my new WWII research in his call for a war on climate change, in the New Republic.
You can find my podcast on the fascinating history of the Brooklyn Navy Yard among a larger set of great podcasts sponsored by the Gotham Center, on this page.
Destructive Creation: American Business and the Winning of World War II (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016). This book is now available for purchase, from the publisher, and from Amazon, and other internet retailers. This book was named winner of the Hagley Prize for best book in business history. It was also co-winner of the Ralph Gomory Prize, which honors historical work on the effects of business enterprises on the economic conditions of the countries in which they operate.
The Business of Civil War: Military Mobilization and the State, 1861-1865 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006; paperback 2010). This book is still in print, available for purchase from the publisher, and from Amazon.
The Military and the Market (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, forthcoming 2022). I co-edited this volume of essays with Jennifer Mittelstadt, of Rutgers University.