1st Edition

Race, Nation, and Capital in the Modern World The Nexus of Inequality

By Philip Y. Nicholson Copyright 2023
    198 Pages
    by Routledge

    198 Pages
    by Routledge

    Race, Nation, and Capital in the Modern World is a comprehensive yet concise book that traces the history of racism, nationalism and capitalism from their combined origins at the end of the fifteenth century to the present.

    This book describes the development of legal codes and institutional practices that brought vast wealth and power to their chief beneficiaries, along with great suffering, exploitation and destruction to its victims. Instead of understanding racism as an aberration or dark flaw in the troubled past of a world power like the United States, this synthesis places race and racism in the forefront of the unfolding history of nationalism and capitalism. The work de-emphasizes the uniqueness of each nation’s particular experience by showing the interdependence of capitalist and racist practices. The narrative follows the leading hegemonic national powers as they expanded from mercantile conquests through plantation enslavement, massive displacement of populations, colonialism, global warfare and finally the tenacious contemporary aftermath. There are no comparable surveys for undergraduates or general readers seeking a unified historical understanding of these primary drivers of modernity. It is a provocative introductory guide and not a work of political theory.

    This volume will appeal to students, scholars and those interested in studies on racism, race, capital, the history of inequality and human and civil rights.

    1. Taking Shape: Race, State & Capital to 1600 2. Mercantile Capital, Racialized Agriculture: 1600-1713 3. Liberty, Law & Enslavement: 1713-1865 4. The Pressure Cooker of Race, Nation and Capital: 1865-1914 5. Furies Unleashed: 1914-1945 6. Cold War Double Standards: 1945-1991 7. Enduring Inequalities: 1991-2020s


    Philip Y. Nicholson is a social historian. He is Professor Emeritus at Nassau Community College. He was awarded the rank of State University of New York Distinguished Professor in 2009. His publications include Who Do We Think We Are? Race and Nation in the Modern World (1999) and Labor’s Story in the United States (2003).

    "Placing nationalism and social inequality at the center of his story, Professor Nicholson proves to be a reliable and refreshingly readable guide to understanding the struggles and conflicts of the past and present..."

    Steven Seidman, University at Albany - State University of New York, Sociology department

    "This important text demystifies the siloed approach to these issues, and, instead, unearths the cohesive connectivity of capital, nation and race, in a way that is both informative and engaging."

    Mohammad-Mahmoud Ould Mohamedou, professor of international history and politics, the Geneva Graduate Institute