Cotton: The Fabric That Made The Modern World

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Today, the most common type of textile is made from cotton. We value cotton because of its use-value. While we appreciate its contribution to fulfilling our functional needs, we fail to appreciate its role in the making of global history. Cotton: The Fabric that Made the Modern World seeks to fill in this lacuna. It is not simply a book about the history of cotton as a commodity. Rather, it is a book about how cotton transformed the global economy, and how Europe came to replace Asia as the new manufacturing powerhouse with the industrial revolution. The book also traces the role cotton played in bridging the East and the West while providing a subtle critique to our traditional way of looking at history – through the Western lens. In that sense, Cotton is a valuable addition to the field of global history.…show more content…
The aim of the book is to explain the changes in global economic dynamics through the perspective of textiles and cotton, and to demonstrate that globalisation is not a contemporary phenomenon. It also covers grounds such as how the divergence between the rich and poor came about; slavery; British industrial revolution; and deindustrialization in nineteenth century.

As a Professor and Director of Global History and Director of the Institute of Advanced Study and the Global History and Culture Centre at the University of Warwick, Giorgio Riello has “published extensively on the history of material culture, fashion, design, and trade and consumption of early modern Europe and Asia”. His rich background in the field of material culture and history explains his ability to provide critical analyses of primary sources, which are usually textiles and

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