Capitalism and Slavery by Eric WilliamsSlavery helped finance the Industrial Revolution in England. Plantation owners, shipbuilders, and merchants connected with the slave trade accumulated vast fortunes that established banks and heavy industry in Europe and expanded the reach of capitalism worldwide. Eric Williams advanced these powerful ideas in Capitalism and Slavery, published in 1944. Years ahead of its time, his profound critique became the foundation for studies of imperialism and economic development. Binding an economic view of history with strong moral argument, Williams's study of the role of slavery in financing the Industrial Revolution refuted traditional ideas of economic and moral progress and firmly established the centrality of the African slave trade in European economic development. He also showed that mature industrial capitalism in turn helped destroy the slave system. Establishing the exploitation of commercial capitalism and its link to racial attitudes, Williams employed a historicist vision that set the tone for future studies. In a new introduction, Colin Palmer assesses the lasting impact of Williams's groundbreaking work and analyzes the heated scholarly debates it generated when it first appeared.
Call Number: HC254.5 W671c
Publication Date: 1994-10-14
The Half Has Never Been Told: slavery and the making of American capitalism by Edward E. BaptistA groundbreaking history demonstrating that America's economic supremacy was built on the backs of slaves Winner of the 2015 Avery O. Craven Prize from the Organization of American Historians Winner of the 2015 Sidney Hillman Prize Americans tend to cast slavery as a pre-modern institution--the nation's original sin, perhaps, but isolated in time and divorced from America's later success. But to do so robs the millions who suffered in bondage of their full legacy. As historian Edward E. Baptist reveals in The Half Has Never Been Told, the expansion of slavery in the first eight decades after American independence drove the evolution and modernization of the United States. In the span of a single lifetime, the South grew from a narrow coastal strip of worn-out tobacco plantations to a continental cotton empire, and the United States grew into a modern, industrial, and capitalist economy. Told through intimate slave narratives, plantation records, newspapers, and the words of politicians, entrepreneurs, and escaped slaves, The Half Has Never Been Told offers a radical new interpretation of American history. Bloomberg View Top Ten Nonfiction Books of 2014 Daily Beast Best Nonfiction Books of 2014
Call Number: E441 B337 2014; Also available as an ebook
Publication Date: 2014-09-09
Happiness for All?: Unequal Hopes and Lives in Pursuit of the American Dream by Carol GrahamHow the optimism gap between rich and poor is creating an increasingly divided society The Declaration of Independence states that all people are endowed with certain unalienable rights, and that among these is the pursuit of happiness. But is happiness available equally to everyone in America today? How about elsewhere in the world? Carol Graham draws on cutting-edge research linking income inequality with well-being to show how the widening prosperity gap has led to rising inequality in people's beliefs, hopes, and aspirations. For the United States and other developed countries, the high costs of being poor are most evident not in material deprivation but rather in stress, insecurity, and lack of hope. The result is an optimism gap between rich and poor that, if left unchecked, could lead to an increasingly divided society. Graham reveals how people who do not believe in their own futures are unlikely to invest in them, and how the consequences can range from job instability and poor education to greater mortality rates, failed marriages, and higher rates of incarceration. She describes how the optimism gap is reflected in the very words people use--the wealthy use words that reflect knowledge acquisition and healthy behaviors, while the words of the poor reflect desperation, short-term outlooks, and patchwork solutions. She also explains why the least optimistic people in America are poor whites, not poor blacks or Hispanics. Happiness for All? highlights the importance of well-being measures in identifying and monitoring trends in life satisfaction and optimism--and misery and despair--and demonstrates how hope and happiness can lead to improved economic outcomes.
Call Number: HN90 S65 G73x 2017
Publication Date: 2017-03-28
A People's History of the United States: 1492-present by Howard Zinn"It's a wonderful, splendid book--a book that should be read by every American, student or otherwise, who wants to understand his country, its true history, and its hope for the future." --Howard Fast, author of Spartacus and The Immigrants "[It] should be required reading." --Eric Foner, New York Times Book Review Library Journal calls Howard Zinn's iconic A People's History of the United States "a brilliant and moving history of the American people from the point of view of those...whose plight has been largely omitted from most histories." Packed with vivid details and telling quotations, Zinn's award-winning classic continues to revolutionize the way American history is taught and remembered. Frequent appearances in popular media such as The Sopranos, The Simpsons, Good Will Hunting, and the History Channel documentary The People Speak testify to Zinn's ability to bridge the generation gap with enduring insights into the birth, development, and destiny of the nation.
Call Number: E178 Z75 2003
Publication Date: 2003-02-04
W.E.B. Du Bois: the fight for equality and the American century, 1919-1963 by David Levering LewisThe second volume of the Pulitzer Prize--winning biography that "The Washington Post" hailed as "an engrossing masterpiece" Charismatic, singularly determined, and controversial, W.E.B. Du Bois was a historian, novelist, editor, sociologist, founder of the NAACP, advocate of women's rights, and the premier architect of the Civil Rights movement. His hypnotic voice thunders out of David Levering Lewis's monumental biography like a locomotive under full steam. This second volume of what is already a classic work begins with the triumphal return from WWI of African American veterans to the shattering reality of racism and lynching even as America discovers the New Negro of literature and art. In stunning detail, Lewis chronicles the little-known political agenda behind the Harlem Renaissance and Du Bois's relentless fight for equality and justice, including his steadfast refusal to allow whites to interpret the aspirations of black America. Seared by the rejection of terrified liberals and the black bourgeoisie during the Communist witch-hunts, Du Bois ended his days in uncompromising exile in newly independent Ghana. In re-creating the turbulent times in which he lived and fought, Lewis restores the inspiring and famed Du Bois to his central place in American history.
Call Number: E185.97 .D73 L48 2000
Publication Date: 2000-10-17
The Wages of Whiteness: race and the making of the American working class by David R. Roediger; Kathleen Cleaver (Introduction by); Mike Davis (Contribution by); Michael Sprinker (Contribution by)Combining classical Marxism, psychoanalysis, and the new labor history pioneered by E. P. Thompson and Herbert Gutman, David Roediger's widely acclaimed book provides an original study of the formative years of working-class racism in the United States. This, he argues, cannot be explained simply with reference to economic advantage; rather, white working-class racism is underpinned by a complex series of psychological and ideological mechanisms that reinforce racial stereotypes, and thus help to forge the identities of white workers in opposition to Blacks. In a new preface, Roediger reflects on the reception, influence, and critical response to The Wages of Whiteness, while Kathleen Cleaver's insightful introduction hails the importance of a work that has become a classic.
Call Number: HD4903.5 U58 R64 2007
Publication Date: 2007-07-17
White Trash: the 400-year untold history of class in America by Nancy IsenbergIn White Trash, Nancy Isenberg upends assumptions about America's supposedly class-free society and shows how poor whites have been deeply ingrained in the country's history for the past 400 years. They were central to the both the Civil War itself and the rise of the Republican Party, and still today feature in reality TV as entertainment. White trash have always been an integral part of the American identity, and here their history in both culture and politics in explored in depth. A fascinating work that's timely to today's public debate about rich and poor.