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  1. 29 Aug '14 19:12
    _The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism_
    by Edward Baptist (2014, a professor of history at Cornell University)

    "Cornell University historian Baptist...delivers an unapologetic, damning,
    and grisly account of *slavery's foundational place in the emergence of
    America as a global superpower*..."
    --review of the book in "Publisher's Weekly"

    "For some fundamental assumptions about the history of slavery and the
    history of the United States remain strangely unchanged. The first major
    assumption is that, as an economic system...American slavery was fundamentally
    different from the rest of the modern economy and different from it. ...
    The second major assumption is that slavery in the United States was
    fundamentally in contradiction with the political and economic systems of
    the liberal republic, and that inevitably that contradiction would be resolved
    in favor of the free-labor North. Sooner or later, slavery would have ended
    by the operation of historical forces; thus, slavery is a story without suspense.
    And a story with a predetermined outcome isn't a story at all. ...

    All these assumptions lead to still more implications, ones that shape attitudes,
    identities, and debates about policy. *If slavery was outside of US history*,
    for instance--if indeed it was a drag and not a rocket booster to American
    economic growth--then *slavery was not implicated in US growth, success,
    power, and wealth.*
    --Edward Baptist

    Given that some of the extremely stupid, proudly anti-intellectual, and deeply
    racist right-wing white Americans here may lack the reading comprehension
    to grasp what Edward Baptist wrote, I shall try to 'dumb it down' for them.

    Edward Baptist apparently asserts that the history of American slavery, as
    conventionally written, tends to be whitewashed (downplaying its horrors)
    in order to avoid making most white Americans feel too uncomfortable.
    Edward Baptist further asserts that slavery was a central part of the US
    economy and essential to the rise in power and prosperity of the USA.
    These are conclusions that I already suspected, though I lack Edward
    Baptist's specialized knowledge of the history of slavery in the USA.

    So this is a significant history book, which I would recommend to anyone
    who's seriously interested in understanding American slavery or capitalism.
    I would expect most right-wing white Americans, however, not to read it
    and to reject all its conclusions without reading it.
  2. 29 Aug '14 19:23
    Given that the rise of the US as a superpower came after the abolition of slavery, it's a peculiar assertion.
  3. Standard member finnegan
    GENS UNA SUMUS
    29 Aug '14 19:23 / 1 edit
    Americans tend to cast slavery as a pre-modern institution--the nation's original sin, perhaps, but isolated in time and divorced from America's later success. But to do so robs the millions who suffered in bondage of their full legacy. As historian Edward Baptist reveals in The Half Has Never Been Told, the expansion of slavery in the first eight decades after American independence drove the evolution and modernization of the United States. In the span of a single lifetime, the South grew from a narrow coastal strip of worn-out tobacco plantations to a continental cotton empire, and the United States grew into a modern, industrial, and capitalist economy. Until the Civil War, Baptist explains, the most important American economic innovations were ways to make slavery ever more profitable. Through forced migration and torture, slave owners extracted continual increases in efficiency from enslaved African Americans. Thus the United States seized control of the world market for cotton, the key raw material of the Industrial Revolution, and became a wealthy nation with global influence.
    From Goodreads.
  4. 29 Aug '14 19:26
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Given that the rise of the US as a superpower came after the abolition of slavery, it's a peculiar assertion.
    You (KazetNagorra) seem to have confused what Edward Baptist wrote
    with what a reviewer for "Publisher's Weekly" wrote. The reviewer, *not*
    Edward Baptist, used the term 'global superpower' (which I considered
    potentially misleading yet which I had to quote accurately).

    If you intend to criticize his book, then criticize *only* what Edward Baptist
    wrote, *not* what someone else wrote about what he wrote.
  5. 29 Aug '14 19:29
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    You (KazetNagorra) seem to have confused what Edward Baptist wrote
    with what a reviewer for "Publisher's Weekly" wrote. The reviewer, *not*
    Edward Baptist, used the term 'global superpower' (which I considered
    potentially misleading yet which I had to quote accurately).

    If you intend to criticize his book, then criticize *only* what Edward Baptist
    wrote, *not* what someone else wrote about what he wrote.
    Are you a Robot ?
  6. Standard member Grampy Bobby
    Boston Lad
    29 Aug '14 19:38
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    _The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism_
    by Edward Baptist (2014, a professor of history at Cornell University)

    "Cornell University historian Baptist...delivers an unapologetic, damning,
    and grisly account of *slavery's foundational place in the emergence of
    America as a global superpower*..."
    --review of the b ...[text shortened]... white Americans, however, not to read it
    and to reject all its conclusions without reading it.
    "Given that some of the extremely stupid, proudly anti-intellectual, and deeply
    racist right-wing white Americans here may lack the reading comprehension
    to grasp what Edward Baptist wrote, I shall try to 'dumb it down' for them." ~Duchess64

    May I ask which "extremely stupid, proudly anti-intellectual, and deeply
    racist right-wing white Americans here..." you have in mind?
  7. 29 Aug '14 19:39
    Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
    "Given that some of the extremely stupid, proudly anti-intellectual, and deeply
    racist right-wing white Americans here may lack the reading comprehension
    to grasp what Edward Baptist wrote, I shall try to 'dumb it down' for them." ~Duchess64

    May I ask which "extremely stupid, proudly anti-intellectual, and deeply
    racist right-wing white Americans here..." you have in mind?
    Some of them may introduce themselves to Grampy Bobby as his future friends.
  8. Standard member finnegan
    GENS UNA SUMUS
    29 Aug '14 19:41
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Given that the rise of the US as a superpower came after the abolition of slavery, it's a peculiar assertion.
    Before the USA could emerge as a superpower it surely had to establish its economic resources. Poor countries do not become superpowers. Land in the US was plentiful and therefore too cheap to permit accumulation of wealth. Northern states were relatively egalitarian until the 20th Century (and indeed until the 1980s). The southern plantations, and the asset value of slaves, provided the basis for a profoundly unequal society and the accumulation of very great wealth in the hands of their owners. I suspect that is where this book will be pointing its finger.
  9. Standard member Grampy Bobby
    Boston Lad
    29 Aug '14 19:47
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    Some of them may introduce themselves to Grampy Bobby as his future friends.
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    Some of them may introduce themselves to Grampy Bobby as his future friends.

    "May I ask which "extremely stupid, proudly anti-intellectual, and deeply
    racist right-wing white Americans here..."
    you have in mind?"

    Please note that your words [italicized] presume an antecedent reference;
    "here" is present not future tense. No need to pose timid. Spell it out.
  10. 29 Aug '14 19:51
    Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    Some of them may introduce themselves to Grampy Bobby as his [b]future
    friends.

    "May I ask which "extremely stupid, proudly anti-intellectual, and deeply
    racist right-wing white Americans here..."
    you have in mind?"

    Please note that your words [italicized] presume an antecedent reference;
    "here" is present not future tense. No need to pose timid. Spell it out.[/b]
    Grampy Bobby should read several years of posts in the Debates Forum and
    arrive at his own conclusions, though I suspect that he would prefer 'to turn
    a blind eye' toward racist comments by white Americans.
  11. 29 Aug '14 19:54
    Originally posted by Finnegan to KazetNagorra
    Before the USA could emerge as a superpower it surely had to establish its economic resources. Poor countries do not become superpowers. Land in the US was plentiful and therefore too cheap to permit accumulation of wealth. Northern states were relatively egalitarian until the 20th Century (and indeed until the 1980s). The southern plantatio ...[text shortened]... lth in the hands of their owners. I suspect that is where this book will be pointing its finger.
    I can recall reading another American historian who asserted that, in the early
    19th century, slavery was the single most valuable sector of the US economy.
  12. 29 Aug '14 21:54
    Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
    "Given that some of the extremely stupid, proudly anti-intellectual, and deeply
    racist right-wing white Americans here may lack the reading comprehension
    to grasp what Edward Baptist wrote, I shall try to 'dumb it down' for them." ~Duchess64

    May I ask which "extremely stupid, proudly anti-intellectual, and deeply
    racist right-wing white Americans here..." you have in mind?
    Anyone who disagrees with, or even questions her conclusions.
  13. 29 Aug '14 22:04
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    I can recall reading another American historian who asserted that, in the early
    19th century, slavery was the single most valuable sector of the US economy.
    And I can cite others that say it was the single most detrimental factor to the growth of a free market economy.

    Just a few facts for you:
    1. Slaves were expensive, and not very productive.
    2. Slave owners would not utilize slaves to build railways or railway bridges, as that employment was too dangerous, and involved the loss of their investment.
    3. By the beginning of the Civil War, large scale slavery was only in the deep South on Cotton and Sugar plantations. The greatest fear of northern slaves (articulated in Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin) was being sold 'down the river'.
    4. Many white immigrants of the early and middle 19th century came to the United States via "Indentured Servitude", a form of voluntary slavery. Irish, Italian and Jewish immigrants in many cases were worse off than African slaves.
    5. Chinese were used to build the railways as they were considered disposable.
    6. These ethnic groups all somehow managed to overcome their rough and unfair start, largely because of American capitalism.
  14. 29 Aug '14 22:06
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    Grampy Bobby should read several years of posts in the Debates Forum and
    arrive at his own conclusions, though I suspect that he would prefer 'to turn
    a blind eye' toward racist comments by white Americans.
    Should we "turn a blind eye" to your racist comments about white Americans? Or your sexist comments about white American men?
  15. 29 Aug '14 22:06
    Originally posted by normbenign
    Anyone who disagrees with, or even questions her conclusions.
    That's such an obviously transparent lie by Normbenign that even
    someone as often gullible as Grampy Bobby might not swallow it.

    As I had advised him, Grampy Bobby may expect to find the people whom
    I described when they come forward to offer their 'friendship' to him.