Without Slavery, Would The U.S. Be The Leading Economic Power? | Here & Now

November 19, 2014 During

the middle of the 1800s, cotton became the world’s largest commodity. The cheapest and best cotton came from the southern United States.

History professor Edward Baptist is author of “The Half Has Not Been Told.” (Cornell University)


Edward Baptist
argues in his new book, “The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism,” that the forced migration and subsequent harsh treatment of slaves in the cotton fields was integral to establishing the United States as a world economic power.

“Slavery continues to have an impact on America in the most basic economic sense,” Baptist told Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson. “We don’t want to hear that at its root, the economic growth depends to a large extent on slavery.”

Book Excerpt: ‘The Half Has Never Been Told’

By Edward E. Baptist

Introduction: The Heart

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