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This is an auction for EMPIRE OF COTTON: A GLOBAL HISTORY, by Sven Beckert.


"The implications of the book are of great interest and relevancy. First, it proves that the free classes all benefited directly and lastingly from slavery as an enabler of the first phase of industrialization. Without slaves (and subsequently share croppers or colonial serfs), both investment capital and the self-reinforcing and expanding product base of consumer capitalism would have accumulated far more slowly, perhaps over centuries rather than decades. This is the best argument for reparations that I have yet seen - the line from slavery and colonialism to prosperity for most of us is direct, while the descendants of slaves and serfs remain exploited and oppressed. Second, the state functioned as a crucial support for the development of private enterprise, from protecting nascent industries to enforcing laws that favored the manufacturing class. This flies in the face of neo-liberal ideology, which argues for a "free trade" that locks the developing world into an inferior status. This book is a wonderful intellectual adventure, its ideas are far more subtle than I could ever express here. It is a bit too academic for my taste, covering developments in exhaustive detail, but on the whole it is a page turner. Recommended with the greatest enthusiasm."

More very favourable reviews on

Paperback 2014.

615 pages.

Very good condition.

The cost of shipping is $4.95, or $5.95 by tracked mail. If you are on rural delivery and want tracked mail, the shipping cost will be $8.95.

There is of course no charge for shipping if you collect this book from my shop in Palmerston North following the auction.

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Shipping options

  • NZ Post or courier$4.95
  • tracked mail$5.95
  • tracked mail for Rural Delivery (RD)$8.95
  • Seller allows pick-ups
  • Seller location: Palmerston North, Manawatu, NZ

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    Cash, NZ bank deposit

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