Capitalism and Commodification

Everyone’s late to dinner last night, except the cats, who are never late to dinner, so I lie on the floor and finish reading Edward E. Baptist’s The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism. Spoiler alert: there’s no laugh-aloud sections in this lengthy book.

Although I consider myself at least mediocrely educated, the book was a revelation to me — a enormous swathe of history, like Hemingway’s submerged iceberg, still mightily driving along our society.

Here’s a two-line excerpt.

The idea that the commodification and suffering and forced labor of African Americans is what made the United States powerful and rich is not an idea that people necessarily are happy to hear. Yet it is the truth.

Meanwhile, little pumpkins in Vermont.


By Brett Ann Stanciu

Brett Ann Stanciu lives with her two daughters in Hardwick, Vermont. Her creative nonfiction book, Unstitched: My Journey to Understand Opioid Addiction and How People and Communities Can Heal, will be published by Steerforth Press in September 2021. Her novel about rural life in Vermont, Hidden View, was published in 2015.


  1. Thank you for giving this work more exposure. I heartily suggest for a likewise Native American revelation the book, “Neither Wolf Nor Dog”, by Kent Nerburn. I have no relation (financial or otherwise) with this author or publisher, but my life and children have benefited greatly. GT

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s