Empire of Cotton: A Global History

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en Limba Engleză Paperback – 10 Nov 2015

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The empire of cotton was, from the beginning, a fulcrum of constant global struggle between slaves and planters, merchants and statesmen, workers and factory owners. Sven Beckert makes clear how these forces ushered in the world of modern capitalism, including the vast wealth and disturbing inequalities that are with us today.
In a remarkably brief period, European entrepreneurs and powerful politicians recast the world s most significant manufacturing industry, combining imperial expansion and slave labor with new machines and wage workers to make and remake global capitalism. The result is a book as unsettling as it is enlightening: a book that brilliantly weaves together the story of cotton with how the present global world came to exist.

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ISBN-13: 9780375713965
ISBN-10: 0375713964
Pagini: 640
Dimensiuni: 132 x 201 x 36 mm
Greutate: 0.59 kg
Editura: Vintage Publishing

Notă biografică

SVEN BECKERT is the Laird Bell Professor of American History at Harvard University. Holding a PhD from Columbia University, he has written widely on the economic, social, and political history of capitalism. He has been the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including from Harvard Business School, the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, and the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History. He was also a fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


A masterpiece of the historian's craft: combining a global scope with concern for the nuances of individual experience, Beckert tracks the fortunes of a single commodity, cotton, across six continents and thousands of years. That sweeping project is driven by the attempt to unravel the causes and consequences of one overarching puzzle: "why, after many millennia of slow economic growth, a few strands of humanity in the late eighteenth century suddenly got much richer." On the way to his answer, Beckert uncovers a history he claims "provides the key to understanding the modern world." . . . The belief that discovering the origins of economic growth might unlock modernity's secrets raises questions that are even more tantalizing
A fascinating and profound examination of the history of a crop that played a transformative role in the making of the modern world. Beckert manages to keep in view a remarkable cast of characters, from planters and slaves in the United States to British industrialists and factory workers, and farmers in India, Egypt, and China. The Empire of Cotton is global history as it should be written
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
Persuasive . . . brilliant . . . Beckert's detailed narrative never scants the rich complexity of the cotton trade's impact on many different societies
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
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
Hefty, informative, and engaging . . . Beckert's narrative skills keep the story of capitalism fresh and interesting for all readers
An engrossing narrative
Beckert is a big-order thinker. His book offers a masterly picture of the empire of cotton as an economic system that held together myriad different parts...Beckert's ability to write a history on this scale is impressive indeed
Sven Beckert's Empire of Cotton: A Global History is certainly a must-read for specialists as well as the lay reader. The lucid style and the wide canvas, both in time and space, make the book riveting