By H. W. Brands
In a grand-scale narrative historical past, the bestselling writer of 2 finalists for the Pulitzer Prize now captures the a long time whilst capitalism was once at its such a lot unbridled and some breathtakingly filthy rich businessmen totally reworked the US from an agrarian economic system to a global energy.
The years among the Civil conflict and the tip of the 19th century observed the wholesale transformation of the United States from a land of small farmers and small businessmen into an business massive. pushed via unfathomably prosperous and robust businessmen like J. P. Morgan, Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller, armies of employees, either female and male, have been harnessed to a brand new imaginative and prescient of big undefined. A society rooted within the soil turned one established in towns, and legions of immigrants have been attracted to American shorelines. What’s extra, in achieving its revolution, capitalism threatened to eclipse American democracy. “What do I care concerning the law?” bellowed Cornelius Vanderbilt. “Hain’t I bought the power?” He did, and with it he and the opposite capitalists reshaped each element of yankee lifestyles. In American Colossus, H.W. manufacturers portrays the emergence, in a remarkably few minutes, of a recognizably sleek the USA.
The capitalist revolution left now not a unmarried quarter or point of yankee lifestyles untouched. It roared around the South, wrenching that quarter from its feudal previous and integrating the southern financial system into the nationwide one. It burst over the West, dictating the destruction of local American economies and peoples, riding the exploitation of traditional assets, and making the frontier of payment a company frontier to boot. It crashed around the city panorama of the East and North, turning towns into engines of wealth and poverty, opulence and squalor. It swamped the politics of an previous period, shooting one significant get together and half the opposite, inspiring the production of a 3rd celebration and selecting the problems over which all 3 waged a number of the bitterest battles in American background.
Brands’s spellbinding narrative superbly depicts the oil gushers of western Pennsylvania, the increase, in Chicago, of the 1st skyscraper, the exploration of the Colorado River, the farm animals drives of the West, and the early passionate sparks of union existence. via 1900 the the USA he portrays is wealthier than ever, but prosperity is precarious, inequality rampant, and democracy stretched skinny. American Colossus is an unforgettable portrait of the years while the competition among capitalism and democracy used to be at its sharpest, and capitalism triumphed.
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Extra info for American Colossus: The Triumph of Capitalism, 1865-1900
And these values are now no longer inseparably united as they were in the yarn; they now lie side by side. Their realisation has given both of them an independent money form; 2 ' ' /250 of this money represent the capital value of £422 and 39/250 constitute the surplus value of £ 78. This separation, effected by the realisation of the commodity capital, has not only the formal content to which we shall refer presently. It becomes important in the process of the reproduction of capital, depending on whether m is entirely or partially or not at all lumped together with M, hence depending on whether or not it continues to function as a component part of the advanced capital value.
In this state of separation it cannot be used either directly for the production of use values for its owner or for the production of commodities, by the sale of which he could live. But from the moment that as a result of its sale it is brought into connection with means of production, it forms part of the productive capital of its purchaser, the same as the means of production. True, in the act M — L the owner of money and the owner of labour power enter only into the relation of buyer and seller, confront one another only as money owner and commodity owner.
But from the moment that as a result of its sale it is brought into connection with means of production, it forms part of the productive capital of its purchaser, the same as the means of production. True, in the act M — L the owner of money and the owner of labour power enter only into the relation of buyer and seller, confront one another only as money owner and commodity owner. In this respect they enter merely into a money relation. Yet at the same time the buyer appears also from the outset in the capacity of an owner of means of production, which are the material conditions for the productive expenditure of labour power by its owner.
American Colossus: The Triumph of Capitalism, 1865-1900 by H. W. Brands