Empire of Cotton

Empire of Cotton

A Global History

Book - 2014
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"The epic story of the rise and fall of the empire of cotton, its centrality in the world economy, and its making and remaking of global capitalism."--
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2014
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780375414145
Branch Call Number: 338.47677 B3888E 2014
Characteristics: xxii, 615 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm


From Library Staff

This in-depth and unsettling study examines the history of the cotton industry, revealing its basis in slavery and militarism, and its contribution to the structure of our world economy today.

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Mar 17, 2018

Fantastic information in this book about how industrial capitalism, starting with the cotton trade, was only able to grow strong through the use of "war capitalism": slavery, theft of land, protectionism, and colonialism.

It tied together lots of questions in my mind about how the UK built a privileged place in the world for European nations.

It is a long book, and parts did get tiresome. However, the strength of evidence did help solidify my understanding.

Sep 12, 2016

A compelling read. Cotton, that is so commonplace today, was known to be useful to those societies where the crop grew in nature - India, Mexico, Peru, elsewhere in South Asia and other places. But NOT in Europe. Yet beginning in the 18th century and throughout the 19th cotton became the basis for the success of the economies of Britain, France, Germany Russia, China and later Japan and the US. But the United States initially had a hand in the success of British cotton manufacture because the American south became the preferred producer of raw cotton that the mills of Manchester relied upon. The Industrial Revolution in Britain was based on cotton and the US grew economically largely because of its slavery based cotton plantations in the south. But with emancipation of the slaves, the whole dynamic changed. The so-called Cotton Famine in the late 1860s was the beginning of the fall of British dominance in the world cotton trade and by 1960 it represented less than 1% of the world cotton manufacture.


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Mar 17, 2018

ranvapa thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


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