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I thought I was going to get a history book. I did not expect a hit piece on capitalism. I understand that there can be abuses of capitalism - as in any system - but also understand that given the democratic nature of capitalism that the opportunities it provides are open to all. The opening page of the book makes agitations that are wholly incorrect and disparage middle class investors of both yesteryear and of today.
This is fine solid business history. It maps out the supply chain of cotton from farms in the post-Civil War US south into the world economy, and which players were able to manipulate information asymmetries and bottlenecks in supply to extract extra profits for themselves. The story plays out as a contest between regional players around these bottlenecks, and the emerging influence of federal regulators. There is a very basic introduction to futures contracts. There are plenty of comparisons that can be made to business today. The narrator as always is sharp and professional.