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Publisher's Summary

In The Half Has Never Been Told, historian Edward E. Baptist reveals the alarming extent to which slavery shaped our country politically, morally, and most of all, economically. Until the Civil War, our chief form of innovation was slavery. Through forced migration and torture, slave owners extracted continual increases in efficiency from their slaves, giving the country a virtual monopoly on the production of cotton, a key raw material of the Industrial Revolution.
As Baptist argues, this frenzy of speculation and economic expansion transformed the United States into a modern capitalist nation. Based on thousands of slave narratives and plantation records, The Half Has Never Been Told offers not only a radical revision of the history of slavery but a disturbing new understanding of the origins of American power that compels listeners to reckon with the violence and subjugation at the root of American supremacy.
©2014 Edward E. Baptist (P)2014 Blackstone Audiobooks
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Meliannos on 03-20-15

The history we were never taught

This book should have been written 150 years ago and taught in schools instead of the gloss on slavery still being studied in American classrooms. It is the story of slavery as the engine of the great American economy, the story of profit as generated by systematized kidnapping, torture, murder, and oppression. It is a compelling combination of personal narratives, economic analysis, and political development. And it's true: what I thought I knew about the Civil War and its causes was only half of the telling.

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20 of 20 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Robert Fullerton on 01-04-15

The most definitive history of American slavery;

Where does The Half Has Never Been Told rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

The essential companion to McPherson's Battle Cry Of Freedom in understanding the Civil War.

Who was your favorite character and why?

President Lincoln fought the war that destroyed slavery and advanced civilization based on personal merit, democratic institutions which became the human model of freedom and self-government for future ages in World History.

Have you listened to any of Ron Butler’s other performances before? How does this one compare?


Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The shocking rape of black men by western slavers in Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas for the sake of plantation production and control. The Caribbean slave rebellion in Haiti, which defeated both French and British soldiers, set up a concurrence of fear among white slavers and even common white farmers.

Any additional comments?

No current living American citizen, nor immigrant can understand the American Story from 1790's to today, without investigating the divergent North and South; social, political and economic lifestyle prior to the commencement of the Civil War, The new western slavers were growing America's chief export commodity, cotton. These new slavers, located in Texas, Louisiana Mississippi and Arkansas annually exported 13, or more, millions of cotton bales to mills in Great Britain and France. Even during hostilities, starved for cash, western slavers shipped cotton North, to mills in New England.

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12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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