Letters and Politics

Slavery and the History of the Earliest States

Today Mitch Jeserich is in conversation with James C. Scott about how the agrarian societies were born. Scott argues that early cities were so miserable that these early states went to war in order to capture slaves to keep the cities operating and that is a big reason why slavery was so endemic to the so-called civilized world. James C. Scott is Sterling Professor of Political Science and co-director of the Agrarian Studies Program at Yale University. His latest book is Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States.

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