The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism

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Basic Books, Oct 25, 2016 - History - 560 pages
A groundbreaking, must-read history demonstrating that America's economic supremacy was built on the backs of slaves
Americans tend to cast slavery as a pre-modern institution -- the nation's original sin, perhaps, but isolated in time and divorced from America's later success. But to do so robs the millions who suffered in bondage of their full legacy. As historian Edward E. Baptist reveals in the prizewinning The Half Has Never Been Told, the expansion of slavery in the first eight decades after American independence drove the evolution and modernization of the United States. In the span of a single lifetime, the South grew from a narrow coastal strip of worn-out tobacco plantations to a continental cotton empire, and the United States grew into a modern, industrial, and capitalist economy.
Told through intimate slave narratives, plantation records, newspapers, and the words of politicians, entrepreneurs, and escaped slaves, The Half Has Never Been Told offers a radical new interpretation of American history.

Bloomberg View Top Ten Nonfiction Books of 2014
Daily Beast Best Nonfiction Books of 2014

Winner of the 2015 Avery O. Craven Prize from the Organization of American HistoriansWinner of the 2015 Sidney Hillman Prize
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - larryerick - www.librarything.com

This book fills an important void for me in my attempt to fully understand black history in America, at least as fully as someone who is not black is capable of doing so. In this particular case, this ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - 2wonderY - LibraryThing

Powerful, but looong. The descriptions of lives stolen was particularly riveting; making me feel white guilt. But Baptist had a tendency to present a person enslaved, and make them stand and be examined while he went on and on driving his point. That in itself, felt like a further indignity. Read full review

Contents

FEET 17831810
1
HEADS 17911815
39
RIGHT HAND 18151819
75
LEFT HAND 18051861
111
TONGUES 18191824
145
BREATH18241835
171
SEED 18291837
215
BLOOD 18361844
261
ARMS 18501861
343
THE CORPSE 18611937
397
Afterword to the Paperback Edition
421
Acknowledgments
439
Abbreviations
443
Notes
445
Index
511
Copyright

BACKS 18391850
309

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About the author (2016)

Edward E. Baptist is an professor of history at Cornell University. Author of the award-winning Creating an Old South, he lives in Ithaca, New York.