Insurance Era joins a burgeoning interdisciplinary literature that chronicles how insurance ideas and organizations have helped to shape our world. Horan contributes most notably to this literature by studying the social impact of the insurance industry’s massive pool of investable funds. Not since 1993, when Roe wrote “The 1906 Pacification of the Insurance Industry,” has a scholar so carefully considered the social and political consequences of insurance companies’ investment strategies.1 Horan also contributes significantly to the literature about insurance-risk classification by offering a historically and culturally informed account of the persistence of gender discrimination in insurance pricing.

Insurance Era proceeds in three parts. Part I explores how insurance marketers sold insurance as “self-made” security (in contrast to the social security of the recently enacted New Deal) to encourage the purchase of insurance and to discourage government programs that would reduce the demand for private insurance. This part sets the...

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