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Publisher's Summary

Slavery 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.

William A. Darity, Jr.'s new foreword highlights Williams's insights for a new generation, and Colin Palmer's introduction assesses the lasting impact of Williams's groundbreaking work and analyzes the heated scholarly debates it generated when it first appeared.

©1944, 1994 The University of North Carolina Press, renewed 1972 by Eric Williams; Copyright 2021 by Erica Williams Connell; Foreword copyright 2021 by The University of North Carolina Press (P)2021 Tantor
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about Capitalism and Slavery

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Excellent Historical Reading for the Caribbean

Eric Williams has done a magnificent job of outlining the argument that if it wasn't for Slavery, then the enhanced capitalism that Europe and America now enjoy was built on the backs of enslaved people. I can see that in-depth research has been done to support the claim. The information given benefits all Caribbean people who want to learn about the development of the Caribbean societies and why, up to today, we are still straddled by the effects of Slavery and the role the Europeans and Americans played in that part of history.

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  • 3RdEyeQueen
  • 10-01-21

Brilliantly researched, written and narrated!

As someone born in the West Indies as a result of forced migration and enslavement, I needed to read this book and I am happy that I did. A lot of this history is not taught on the islands and it is important to understanding how we got to where we are now. I recommend that everyone takes a listen. While it is somewhat academic in parts, it is not overly so. The content is worthwhile and the narrator makes it easy to get through.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-20-22

Brilliant

A very interesting and knowledgeable author with a different perspective. I may need to listen again though

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  • R. Downing
  • 03-02-22

Enlightening and fascinating

Superbly written and evidenced history of this subject, undiluted in its telling and essential for understanding the world we live today.