New Times,
New Thinking.

5 September 2014

#notallslaveowners: the Economist complains that a book on slavery makes white people look bad

A book review in the Economist has called a book on slavery biased for painting white people as the villains.

By Media Mole

The Economist has run an extroardinary piece that apparently defends slave owners. Its review of a book on slavery, The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism by Edward Baptist, suggests the book is biased for making white people look bad.

Here’s the review’s conclusion:

. . . Mr Baptist has not written an objective history of slavery. Almost all the blacks in his book are victims, almost all the whites villains. This is not history; it is advocacy.

This mole always thought the worst thing about the slave trade was how it put white people in a bad light…


UPDATE: 14.26, 5 September 2014

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The Economist has now withdrawn the book review. An editor’s note explains the decision:

There has been widespread criticism of this [review], and rightly so. Slavery was an evil system, in which the great majority of victims were blacks, and the great majority of whites involved in slavery were willing participants and beneficiaries of that evil. We regret having published this and apologise for having done so. We have therefore withdrawn the review. . . 

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