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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 a remaking and of global capitalism.  Sven Beckert's rich, fascination book tells how 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 1780's, these men captured ancient trades and skills in Asia, combined them with the expropriation of lands in the Americas and the enslavement of African workers to crucially recast the disparate realms of cotton that had existed for millennia.

About the Author

Sven Beckert

The Laird Bell Professor of History at Harvard University, Sven Beckert is co-chair of the Program on the Study of Capitalism at Harvard and co-chair of the Weatherhead Initiative on Global History. Professor Beckert researches and teaches the history of the United States in the 19th century, with a particular emphasis on the history of capitalism, including its economic, social, political, and transnational dimensions. He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Cullman Center at the New York Public Library, among others.

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