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Edward Baptist's The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism: General Information

General Information

Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism


General Information on "The Half Has Never Been Told"

Historians Perspectives/Interpretations

Economists Perspectives/Interpretations


Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism


Positive Reviews


The Economist - Controversial Article and Ensuing Backlash

Interviews with the Author

Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism


Interviews with Edward Baptist

On April 19, 2016, Dr. Edward Baptist, Associate Professor of History at Cornell University, offered reflections on his book, "The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism." The event was part of the 2016 DC Emancipation Day Symposium hosted by the Georgetown University Working Group on Slavery, Memory, and Reconciliation. Featuring Fr. Matthew Carnes, S.J., Dr. Ed Baptist (F'92), Dr. Maurice Jackson (G'95, G'01), and Connor Maytnier (C'17).
Edward Baptist, an associate history professor at Cornell University, contends that slavery drove the United States' transformation into a global, economic force. Mr. Baptist speaks at Harvard Book Store in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Throughout this discussion, Baptist discusses the varying chapters of his book, providing a brief overview of the content and making clear the themes he sought to discuss. He continues on discussing the backlash he received from "The Economist" and their take on his published work.
Historian Edward E. Baptist visited Google's Cambridge, MA office to discuss his book, "The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism". As he shows in the book, slavery and its expansion were central to the evolution and modernization of our nation in the 18th and 19th centuries, catapulting the US into a modern, industrial and capitalist economy. In the span of a single lifetime, the South grew from a narrow coastal strip of worn-out tobacco plantations to a sub-continental cotton empire. By 1861 it had five times as many slaves as it had during the Revolution, and was producing two billion pounds of cotton a year. It was through slavery and slavery alone that the United States achieved a virtual monopoly on the production of cotton, the key raw material of the Industrial Revolution, and was transformed into a global power rivaled only by England. Baptist takes questions on the book and discusses the innovative nature of his research. Dr. Baptist is Associate Professor of History at Cornell. "The Half Has Never Been Told" is his second book; his first was "Creating an Old South: Middle Florida’s Plantation Frontier Before the Civil War".
EDWARD BAPTIST on his controversial new book, The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism-how slavery in the 100 years after American independence drove the rise of the United States to a world power. He goes on to discuss where some of the stories he has included in his book stem from, providing a new perspective on the importance of first hand accounts.

General Video Interviews/Podcast Discussions

Slave Narratives

Audience of Narratives

Strengths and Limitations

Bapist's use of Narratives