Brian Murphy

Associate Professor

Early American republic; U.S. economic and political history; political economy





Phone: (646) 312-4342

                  (646) 360-0276 (press/booking)
Location: VC 5-255

Brian Phillips Murphy was born in Paterson, New Jersey and graduated from Haverford College in Haverford, Pa. with a B.A. in history. He earned M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Virginia. His research interests are in political economy, particularly financial institutions, transportation infrastructure, political party development, and corruption.


Professor Murphy's first book, Building the Empire State: Political Economy in Early America waw pubished by the University of Pennsylvania Press in May 2015.

Professor Murphy has held fellowships at the International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello and the McNeil Center for Early American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. In May 2009, he was awarded the Richard L. Morton Award for his April 2008 article in the William and Mary Quarterly, “‘A very convenient instrument’: The Manhattan Company, Aaron Burr, and the Election of 1800.”

At Baruch College he has been awarded a Whiting Fellowship for excellence in teaching and a Eugene M. Lang Junior Faculty Research Fellowship. Professor Murphy is a co-director of the Columbia Seminar in Early American History and Culture, and a member of the board of editors of the Papers of Gouverneur Morris.

In 2011, Professor Murphy was the guest curator of an exhibition on the history of banking in New York City at the Museum of the City of New York. Titled "Capital of Capital: New York's Banks and the Creation of a Global Economy," the show brought together hundreds of objects and artifacts relating to the development of banks and commerce in New York City and was the first public history program to link the Occupy Wall Street movement to the long history of anti-bank critiques in American history.

Prior to beginning graduate studies, Professor Murphy worked as a financial and political journalist on the staffs of Money and George magazines, and was the managing editor of He has co-hosted and been a guest on numerous television and radio programs, and written for publications from BusinessWeek to The New York Times. He was interviewed for an episode of NPR's Planet Money about "The Birth of the Dollar Bill."

In 2014 Professor Murphy brought his research interests and reporting background together to contribute original reporting to the public's understanding of the Port Authority and controversial lane closures on the George Washington Bridge. He has written extensively for Talking Points Memo and appeared as a guest on MSNBC's "Hardball With Chris Matthews," "The Rachel Maddow Show," "All In with Chris Hayes," "The Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell," and many other programs as an MSNBC Contributor.

Prof. Murphy's is currently at work on a history of public corruption in the United States.

His personal website can be found here.

If you are a member of the media and would like to contact Prof. Murphy, call 646.360.0276.

The City University of New York