The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Edward E. Baptist

Narrated By: Ron Butler

Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks

Date: September 2014

Duration: 19 hours 50 minutes


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.

“A dense, myth-busting work that pursues how the world profited from American slavery…A complicated story involving staggering scholarship that adds greatly to our understanding of the history of the United States.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)


  • Monica Driver

    This book is an excellent , detailed account of slavery. It details the evil and barbaric treatment of African-Americans by this country. The descriptions made me weep. Mr. Baptist's book should be required reading in every high school.

  • Will Taylor

    This is the best book I've ever read about American history.