- 10,99 €
Beschreibung des Verlags
WINNER OF THE 2015 BANCROFT PRIZE
WINNER OF THE 2015 PHILIP TAFT PRIZE
FINALIST FOR THE 2015 PULITZER PRIZE FOR HISTORY
SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2015 CUNDHILL PRIZE IN HISTORICAL LITERATURE
Economist BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2015
'A masterpiece of the historian's craft' The Nation
For about 900 years, from 1000 to 1900, cotton was the world's most important manufacturing industry. It remains a vast business - if all the cotton bales produced in 2013 had been stacked on top of each other they would have made a somewhat unstable tower 40,000 miles high.
Sven Beckert's superb new book is a history of the overwhelming role played by cotton in dictating the shape of our world. It is both a gripping narrative and a brilliant case history of how the world works.
In his latest venture into capitalism's past, Harvard University historian Beckert (The Monied Metropolis) has produced a hefty, informative, and engaging study of cotton. Beckert persuasively shows that nothing less than a global sweep can provide a complete understanding of how the plant's cultivation and its thread-to-cloth production affected the growth and development of economic, political, and social systems. He examines the changes wrought by thousands of years of cotton production in Africa, Asia, and the Americas, with Europe and England in particular a relative latecomer to the plant's marvels. These developments prompted the rise of "war capitalism" in the 1500s, a stage of economic development rooted in the violence associated with forcible land and labor acquisitions. This was what the Europeans excelled at: violently intruding on global cotton networks, then using their newly acquired power to further dominate and exploit the system. Moving across several millennia and touching upon every corner of the globe, Beckert's narrative skills keep the story of capitalism fresh and interesting for all readers, especially when he introduces individuals like the British merchant Samuel Greg and Georgia plantation owner James Monroe Smith, putting human faces on sweeping historical events. Illus.