Sven’s Recent Stories
Nation Feb 13How the West got rich and modern capitalism was born
"We need to qualify the fairy tale we like to tell about capitalism and free labor," argues Harvard historian Sven Beckert, author of the new book, "Empire of Cotton." In part two of his essay on Making Sen$e, he explores…
Nation Feb 12America’s first big business? Not the railroads, but slavery
For too long, historian Sven Beckert argues, historians have depicted slavery as a non-capitalist "Southern pathology." In his new book, "Empire of Cotton," Beckert shows how slavery was actually at the very roots of modern American capitalism.