Slavery and American Capitalism

imagesRecently I presented a book review talk at the Albany Public Library; the book was Edward Baptist’s The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism.

Before being asked to do this, I well remembered the review in The Economist. It concluded, “Mr. Baptist has not written an objective history of slavery. Almost all the blacks in his book are victims, almost all the whites villains.” I said to myself: Whoah!

And I also remembered what happened next — something I’d never before seen in The Economist. An “editor’s note” appeared, apologizing for, and withdrawing, that book review. images-1Particularly regarding those quoted final lines, the editor said there had been widespread criticism, and rightly so; that the great majority of slavery’s victims had been blacks, “and the great majority of whites involved in slavery were willing participants and beneficiaries of that evil.”

Thus spake The Economist. If you’d like to see my review of the book, I have uploaded the text (unsuitably long for a blog post); click here. Mostly, it’s a portrayal of slavery. Warning: not a pretty picture.

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2 Responses to “Slavery and American Capitalism”

  1. Roger Green Says:

    Heard you were very good!

  2. doughawes Says:

    Thank you, one of your better blogs in my not so humble opinion. Doug Hawes

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