Saturday, August 29, 2015

Round table on Edward Baptist's Half has Never Been Told

The September Journal of Economic History has a round table of reviews of Edward Baptist’s book The Half Has Never Been told, with reviews by Alan Olmstead, Jonathan Pritchett, Trevon Logan and Peter Rousseau. They each address different aspects of the way that Baptist misrepresents the historiography of American slavery and makes things up. Thanks to Alan Olmstead for mentioning one of my blog posts on the book. Many of the points noted in these reviews  are similar to ones that I and Pseudoerasmus made about the book shortly after it came out, around the same time it was getting glowing reviews in places like the New York Times Book Reviews. I found Logan’s review particularly interesting when it stepped away from what is typically thought of as economic history. He concludes

I think as an economic historian I was so offended by the books portrayal of economic historians I may have missed some of the bigger problems. 

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