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The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism by Edward E. Baptist (review)

The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism by Edward E. Baptist... b o o k rev i ews The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism. By Edward E. Baptist. (New York: Basic Books, 2014. Pp. 528. Cloth, $35.00; paper, $18.99.) Slavery is "the tough stuff of American memory." As Saidiya Hartman memorably writes, African American bondage "established a measure of man and a ranking of life . . . that has yet to be undone." Whether in the 1830s, 1960s, or today, slavery remains a touchstone in the "search for social justice on the critical issue of race."1 Edward Baptist's The Half Has Never Been Told is the latest attempt to come to terms with slavery and its enduring legacies. As Baptist makes clear, his book is about "how slavery constantly grew, changed, and reshaped the modern world" (xxii); it reveals the violence, theft, and modernity of American slavery and what it meant for those who survived the rapid expansion of racial slavery during the first half of the nineteenth century. Baptist tells "the other half of [slavery's] story," a half that has been "left out of history" by southern whites who "convinced a majority of white Americans, including most historians, that slavery http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of the Civil War Era University of North Carolina Press

The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism by Edward E. Baptist (review)

The Journal of the Civil War Era , Volume 5 (4) – Nov 21, 2015

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
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Copyright @ The University of North Carolina Press
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2159-9807
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Abstract

b o o k rev i ews The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism. By Edward E. Baptist. (New York: Basic Books, 2014. Pp. 528. Cloth, $35.00; paper, $18.99.) Slavery is "the tough stuff of American memory." As Saidiya Hartman memorably writes, African American bondage "established a measure of man and a ranking of life . . . that has yet to be undone." Whether in the 1830s, 1960s, or today, slavery remains a touchstone in the "search for social justice on the critical issue of race."1 Edward Baptist's The Half Has Never Been Told is the latest attempt to come to terms with slavery and its enduring legacies. As Baptist makes clear, his book is about "how slavery constantly grew, changed, and reshaped the modern world" (xxii); it reveals the violence, theft, and modernity of American slavery and what it meant for those who survived the rapid expansion of racial slavery during the first half of the nineteenth century. Baptist tells "the other half of [slavery's] story," a half that has been "left out of history" by southern whites who "convinced a majority of white Americans, including most historians, that slavery

Journal

The Journal of the Civil War EraUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Nov 21, 2015

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