The Hidden History of Slavery and Its Role in Building the American Empire

This week, we spend the whole hour talking with Edward Baptist about his latest book, The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism.
Told through intimate slave narratives, plantation records, newspapers, and the words of politicians, entrepreneurs, and former enslaved people, The Half Has Never Been Told gives you a glimpse of the world in a way that you never imagined before, or that you didn’t understand thoroughly before.
The expansion of slavery after American independence drove the evolution and modernization of the US, making the South a continental cotton empire, and the US a global capitalist economic power. Through forced migration and torture, slave owners extracted continual increases in production from enslaved African Americans, giving the US control of the world market for cotton, the key raw material of the Industrial Revolution.

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