Sven Beckert is the Laird Bell Professor of History at Harvard. His work focuses on the history of capitalism in global perspective. Translated into 12 languages, his last book, Empire of Cotton, won, among others, the Bancroft Award, the Premio Cherasco Storia, the Cundill Prize for Excellence and was the runner up for the Pulitzer Prize in History. The New York Times named it one of the 10 most important books published in 2015. Beckert has been a Guggenheim Fellow as well as a Humboldt Fellow, and co-chairs the Program on the Study of Capitalism as well as the Initiative on Global History.