Edward E. Baptist

The Half Has Never Been Told

Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism

Basic Books 2014

New Books in African American StudiesNew Books in American StudiesNew Books in EconomicsNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books Network September 8, 2014 Dan Kilbride

An unflinching examination of the trauma, violence, opportunism, and vision that combined to create the empire for slavery that was the Old South, Ed...

An unflinching examination of the trauma, violence, opportunism, and vision that combined to create the empire for slavery that was the Old South, Ed Baptist‘s new book The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism (Basic Books, 2014) challenges popular conceptions of that region that imagine it as a land of proud men, genteel ladies, and an antiquated, inefficient system of labor. The slavery that Baptist uncovers is dynamic, relentless, brutal, and extremely profitable. Surviving it, he shows, was an impressive accomplishment all its own. And its role in driving the development of American capitalism in the formative years of the republic raises troubling questions about the legacy of slavery in contemporary times.

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