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Empire of Cotton

Empire of Cotton by Sven Beckert
Hardcover
Dec 02, 2014 | 640 Pages
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    Nov 10, 2015 | 640 Pages

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    Dec 02, 2014 | 640 Pages

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Praise

Celebration for Sven Beckert’s
EMPIRE OF COTTON
 
“Sweeping, ambitious and disturbing . . . ”
– The Editors, The New York Times Book Review, “The Ten Best Books of 2015”
 
 
“A book of fascinating dilemmas about human nature that can be read with equal enthusiasm by economists and non-economists, historians and non-historians.”
– Carlos A. Valderrama Becerra, Expansion      
 
 
“Brilliant and comprehensive . . . an epic history.”
-Simon Lewis, Post and Courier
 
 
“Written with honesty, clarity and conviction, this transformative study is much more than another jeremiad against capitalism. The text glows from its underlying proposition for changing the world that will alter forever the way you view modern history, and your own class position in it.”
-Dana April Seidenberg, East African
 
 
“Breathtakingly comprehensive, informative and provocative.”
-Glenn C. Altschuler, Tulsa World
 
 
“Persuasive . . . brilliant . . . Beckert’s detailed narrative never scants the rich complexity of the cotton trade’s impact on many different societies.”
-Wendy Smith, Boston Globe
 
 
“Sure, spacious, and skillful . . . Beckert has no issue with a tight focus, and he uses it deftly to describe the history.”
-Peter Lewis, Barnes and Noble
 
 
Empire of Cotton proves Sven Beckert one of the new elite of genuinely global historians.  Too little present-day academic history is written for the general public. Empire of Cotton transcends this barrier and should be devoured eagerly, not only by scholars and students but also by the intelligent reading public. The book is rich and diverse in the treatment of its subject. The writing is elegant, and the use of both primary and secondary sources is impressive and varied. Overviews on international trends alternate with illuminating, memorable anecdotes . . . Beckert’s book made me wish for a sequel.”
-Daniel Walker Howe, The Washington Post
 
 
“Masterly . . . Deeply researched and eminently readable, “Empire of Cotton” gives new insight into the relentless expansion of global capitalism.  With graceful prose and a clear and compelling argument, Beckert not only charts the expansion of cotton capitalism. . . he addresses the conditions of enslaved workers in the fields and wage workers in the factories.  An astonishing achievement. “
– Thomas Bender, NY Times
 
 
“Important  . . .a major work of scholarship that will not be soon surpassed as the definitive account of the product that was, as Beckert puts it, the Industrial Revolution’s ‘launching pad.’”
-Adam Hochschild, New York Times Book Review
 
 
“Momentous and brilliant . . . ‘Empire of Cotton’ is among the best nonfiction books of this year.”
-Karen R. Long, Newsday
 
 
“Compelling . . . Beckert demonstrates persuasively how the ravenous cotton textile trade in Europe was instrumental in the emergence of capitalism and draws a direct line from the practices that nourished this empire to similar elements in the production of goods for today’s massive international retailers. Those who long to know more about how and why slavery took hold in Europe, Africa and the Americas will find this book to be immensely enlightening.  Better still, those who live out the troubled legacy of the exploitation and enslavement of workers in the service of the cotton empire will find in it added inspiration for their continuing efforts to realize a just and more equitable society.”
-Ruth Simmons, President Emeritus of Brown University
 
 
“Intellectually ambitious . . . a masterpiece of the historian’s craft . . .”
-Timothy Shenk, The Nation
 
 
“A highly detailed, provocative work.”
Booklist
 
 
“Hefty, informative, and engaging . . . Beckert’s narrative skills keep the story of capitalism fresh and interesting for all readers.”
Publishers Weekly
 
 
“[Beckert’s] close-up study of the cotton economy is a valuable model for the study of capitalism generally, an economic system in which slavery and colonialism were not outliers but instead integral to the whole . . . a valuable contribution.”
Kirkus
 
 
“Fascinating and profound… Global history as it should be written.”
-Eric Foner

Awards

Bancroft Prize WINNER 2015

Pulitzer Prize (History) FINALIST 2015

Cundill Prize in Historical Literature SHORTLIST 2015

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