The Economist has withdrawn a thoroughly disgusting review that denigrated a book on slavery because it portrayed white people too negatively, and slaves as victims.
In the now-withdrawn review, The Economist wrote that the author of The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism, Ed Baptist, “overstates his case when he dismisses ‘the traditional explanations’ for America’s success: its individualistic culture, Puritanism, the lure of open land and high wages, Yankee ingenuity and government policies.”
The review concluded that the book was biased because white slave owners were portrayed too negatively, and it pushed the silly idea that black slaves were somehow victims in the shameful era of slavery.
“Mr Baptist has not written an objective history of slavery. Almost all the blacks in his book are victims, almost all the whites villains. This is not history; it is advocacy.”
In an apology posted Friday, the Economist wrote,
“There has been widespread criticism of this, and rightly so. Slavery was an evil system, in which the great majority of victims were blacks, and the great majority of whites involved in slavery were willing participants and beneficiaries of that evil. We regret having published this and apologise for having done so. “
To their credit, they left the original review up, for those who wish to read it. However, what sort of people can possibly form an opinion that the practice of owning people is anything but evil — and that those who suffered because of this practice are anything but victims.
Sure, they changed their tune — but why print something so vile in the first place?