What, exactly, is capitalism? When did it come about? And how does it differ from other economic systems? Despite centuries of discussion surrounding capitalism, its merits and its shortcomings, defining the term ‘capitalism’ itself has been an elusive affair.
In The Untold History of Capitalism, historian Enrique S. Rivera tackles these questions and more. This new book investigates an obscure, yet highly influential, anti-slavery insurrection in Venezuela at the close of the eighteenth century, and examines its linkages to the Atlantic economy, uncovering new findings on capitalism’s history in the process. “Dazzling,” “audacious,” and “innovative,” The Untold History of Capitalism inserts anti-slavery revolutions into the complex history of capitalism–examining their links to early industry, Atlantic trade, and financial speculation. As it excavates capitalism’s origins, The Untold History of Capitalism provides lessons for today’s political and economic climate–on how empires and their economic systems violently resist their inevitable falls, and on how their shortcomings create openings for revolutionary movements around the world.