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Download Empire of Cotton: A Global History Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Empire of Cotton: A Global History, by Sven Beckert Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Sven Beckert Narrator: Jim Frangione Publisher: Highbridge Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The epic story of the rise and fall of the empire of cotton, its centrality to the world economy, and its making and remaking of global capitalism

Cotton is so ubiquitous as to be almost invisible, yet understanding its history is key to understanding the origins of modern capitalism. Sven Beckert’s rich, fascinating book tells the story of how, in a remarkably brief period, European entrepreneurs and powerful statesmen recast the world’s most significant manufacturing industry, combining imperial expansion and slave labor with new machines and wage workers to change the world. Here is the story of how, beginning well before the advent of machine production in the 1780s, these men captured ancient trades and skills in Asia and combined them with the expropriation of lands in the Americas and the enslavement of African workers to crucially reshape the disparate realms of cotton that had existed for millennia, and how industrial capitalism gave birth to an empire, and how this force transformed the world.

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. 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. 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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Quotes & Awards

  • “Masterly…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. "

    New York Times

  • Empire of Cotton proves Sven Beckert one of the new elite of genuinely global historians…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.”

    Washington Post

  • “Momentous and brilliant…Empire of Cotton is among the best nonfiction books of this year.”

    Newsday

  • “Persuasive…brilliant… Beckert’s detailed narrative never scants the rich complexity of the cotton trade’s impact on many different societies.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Intellectually ambitious…a masterpiece of the historian’s craft.”

    Nation

  • “It fostered ‘war capitalism’ among European nations. It helped launch the industrial revolution in England. It drove slavery. The story of cotton is the story of modern capitalism…for better or worse.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “Hefty, informative, and engaging…Beckert’s narrative skills keep the story of capitalism fresh and interesting for all readers.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Narrator Jim Frangione can’t make international spindle count comparisons dramatic, but he makes business concepts understandable. At the same time, he relishes more interesting topics like family business dynasties…Frangione ably delivers a solid primer on economics and capitalism.”

    AudioFile

  • “A highly detailed, provocative work.”

    Booklist

  • “His 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 Reviews

  • A New York Times Editor’s Choice
  • Winner of the Bancroft Prize
  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month for December 2014
  • A 2015 New York Times Top 10 Book
  • A 2015 New York Times Book Review Notable Book
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