HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Empire of Cotton: A Global History by Sven…
Loading...

Empire of Cotton: A Global History (2014)

by Sven Beckert

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4341324,268 (3.57)15
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 15 mentions

English (11)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  All (13)
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
good book ( )
  annbury | Dec 28, 2017 |
Fascinating! My thinking of global economies and globalization in general were blown out of the water. ( )
  lissabeth21 | Oct 3, 2017 |
In many ways I would consider this a sequel or rather a continuation of Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations. It describes the world of commerce since the 18th century whereas Smith described the 18th century. ( )
  clmerle | Jul 22, 2017 |
Joy's review: this potentially interesting book turns quickly into a slog. Beckert has a 'new' phrase that he wants to get into the historical conversation, "War Capitalism". Which basically means that capitalism succeeded because it was backed up with force. He uses Cotton to demonstrate this and then beats this drum to death. Turn this into an article in the Smithsonian and you might have something. ( )
  konastories | Nov 12, 2016 |
"The Empire of Cotton" by Sven Beckert is an eye opener, a tour de force, a detailed account of human exploitation on a gargantuan scale.
# The eBook of fully indexed with umpteen endnotes from original sources. It comes with excellent photos, charts and diagrams. Readers who have 96 dpi monitors (or less) will need a magnifying glass to make out the small print on some of the graphics. (Someday I hope Kindle will support zoom functions for embedded graphics.) I would not recommend reading this eBook with an iPhone or minimum-definition eReader.
# Beckert documents the origins of cotton in India and China. Indian cotton was a luxury item for aristocrats of the Roman Empire.
# The British East India Company introduced cotton to Europeans and adopted technological improvements for spinning and weaving. Soon British merchants around Liverpool open sweat-shop factories and employed children from orphanages who worked 13-hour shifts in cramped, unsavory conditions. Meanwhile, the East Indian Company bought yarns and cloths from Indian cotton producers. These they sold to Africans in exchange for slaves who were sent to the Western Hemisphere to work the cotton fields. In the USA the cotton gin enabled easier cotton harvesting and processing. Soon cotton plantations in the USA supplied Europe with 90% of the raw cotton for mills.
# The cotton industry has always been a government sanctioned Ponzi scheme that provides cotton clothing to well-heeled consumers at rock-bottom prices. It went hand-in-hand with colonialism of the 18th- & 19th-centuries. Beckert coins a new phrase for the cotton enterprise. He calls it WAR CAPITALISM.
# Government laws have enabled the cotton industry, which has used slavery, land grabs, wage slavery, violence, rape and even genocide to further its aims. The global cotton racket throughout its history has used the same methods as do drug cartels. Yet, cotton vendors are perfectly licensed and legal. Today the USA government spends more on its own cotton producers than it gives to foreign aid.
# This eBook wonderfully written and produced. I recommend it for anyone who dares to face the facts. The dark truth of human capitalism. ( )
  JOQuantaman | Sep 17, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375414142, Hardcover)

The epic story of the rise and fall of the empire of cotton, its centrality to the world economy, and its making and remaking of global capitalism.
 
Cotton is so ubiquitous as to be almost invisible, yet understanding its history is key to understanding the origins of modern capitalism. Sven Beckert’s rich, fascinating book tells the story of how, in a remarkably brief period, European entrepreneurs and powerful statesmen recast the world’s most significant manufacturing industry, combining imperial expansion and slave labor with new machines and wage workers to change the world. Here is the story of how, beginning well before the advent of machine production in the 1780s, these men captured ancient trades and skills in Asia, and combined them with the expropriation of lands in the Americas and the enslavement of African workers to crucially reshape the disparate realms of cotton that had existed for millennia, and how industrial capitalism gave birth to an empire, and how this force transformed the world.

The empire of cotton was, from the beginning, a fulcrum of constant global struggle between slaves and planters, merchants and statesmen, workers and factory owners. Beckert makes clear how these forces ushered in the world of modern capitalism, including the vast wealth and disturbing inequalities that are with us today. The result is a book as unsettling as it is enlightening: a book that brilliantly weaves together the story of cotton with how the present global world came to exist.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:48 -0400)

"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. Sven Beckert's rich, fascinating book tells the story of how, in a remarkably brief period, European entrepreneurs and powerful statesmen recast the world's most significant manufacturing industry combining imperial expansion and slave labor with new machines and wage workers to change the world. Here is the story of how, beginning well before the advent of machine production in 1780, these men created a potent innovation (Beckert calls it war capitalism, capitalism based on unrestrained actions of private individuals; the domination of masters over slaves, of colonial capitalists over indigenous inhabitants), and crucially affected the disparate realms of cotton that had existed for millennia. We see how this thing called war capitalism shaped the rise of cotton, and then was used as a lever to transform the world. The empire of cotton was, from the beginning, a fulcrum of constant global struggle between slaves and planters, merchants and statesmen, farmers and merchants, workers and factory owners. In this as in so many other ways, Beckert makes clear how these forces ushered in the modern world. The result is a book as unsettling and disturbing as it is enlightening: a book that brilliantly weaves together the story of cotton with how the present global world came to exist"--Provided by publisher.… (more)

» see all 3 descriptions

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.57)
0.5
1 1
1.5 1
2 4
2.5 1
3 11
3.5 5
4 10
4.5 3
5 8

HighBridge Audio

An edition of this book was published by HighBridge Audio.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 126,550,876 books! | Top bar: Always visible