Jeremy Adelman studies the history of Latin America in comparative and world contexts. Over the years, he has focused on economic, legal, and political transformations, especially in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. More recently, he has turned to the study of modern political, economic, and intellectual transformations. After graduating from the University of Toronto, he earned a master’s degree in economic history at the London School of Economics (1985) and completed a doctorate in modern history at Oxford University (1989). He has been teaching at Princeton since 1992.
His first book, Frontier Development: Land, Labour, and Capital on the Wheatlands of Argentina and Canada (1994), compares the agrarian systems that developed in the late 19th and early 20th century on the Argentine pampas and the Canadian prairies, where very different patterns of land ownership and labor emerged despite similar starting conditions. Republic of Capital: Buenos Aires and the Legal Transformation of the New World (1999), which won the American Historical Association’s Atlantic History Prize, analyzes the political, intellectual, and legal changes that occurred in Argentina as the country grew from an outpost in the Spanish Empire to a modern republic. His most recent monograph, Sovereignty and Revolution in the Iberian Atlantic (2006) narrates the downfall of the Spanish and Portuguese empires from the middle of the eighteenth century, and the emergence of nation states in the next century. His most recent book is a life history of the famous writer and economist, Albert O. Hirschman, called "Worldly Philosopher: The Odyssey of Albert O. Hirschman," to be published in March, 2013. Professor Adelman is also the editor of three books and coauthor, with colleagues in the History Department, and elsewhere of Worlds Together, Worlds Apart (2008), a history of the world from the beginning of humankind. Currently, he is working on two books: one is a history of Latin America and globalization, and the second is a study of intellectuals and the global crises of the twentieth century.
The recipient of the Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and the ACLS Frederick Burkhardt Fellowship, he was the chair of the History Department for four years and occupies the Walter Samuel Carpenter III Professor in Spanish Civilization and Culture. At present, he is the Director of the Council for International Teaching and Research at Princeton University.