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By Lucian of Samosata on 03-17-15
A New History of Global Capitalism
What made the experience of listening to Empire of Cotton the most enjoyable?
A compelling socioeconomic history of the "white gold" -- a commodity so familiar that we take it for granted. The thrust of the author's thesis is that cotton is central to any discussion of the rise of capitalism, the Industrial Revolution, and global markets from the 1700s, not peripheral to it like some people would like to believe. The UK subtitle "A New History of Global Capitalism" better captures the book's real subject. The emphasis is on the period of the mid-1700s to mid-1800s when cotton growing and manufacturing were at their peak in the UK and the USA, though India, China, and other countries factor into the discussion. There is far less emphasis on cotton in the 20th-21st Century.
A highly detailed, mature history of one of humanity's most essential commodities, and the greed, brutality, and ingenuity that human beings have applied to its cultivation, manufacture, and sale.
What does Jim Frangione bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
The reading was very strong. Considering the large number of non-English names, societies, and companies cited throughout the book, learning the correct pronunciation for everything must have taken considerable time and effort on the reader's part.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful
By Carroll on 05-23-16
A valuable economic saga over centuries
A very thorough economic detailed saga of the uses of cotton to fuel the mechanical revolution.... as well as it's role in so many turns of human history around the world until the current times.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful