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The Stolen Wealth of Slavery

The Stolen Wealth of Slavery

A Case for Reparations

David Montero
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A groundbreaking investigative narrative that trails the money and massive wealth amassed from slavery from pre-Civil War to today, proving how our modern economy was built on the backs of enslaved Black people.

In this timely, powerful, investigative history, The Stolen Wealth of Slavery, Emmy Award-nominated journalist David Montero follows the trail of the massive wealth amassed by Northern corporations throughout America's history of enslavement. It has long been maintained by many that the North wasn't complicit in the horrors of slavery. The truth, however, is that large Northern banks--including well-known institutions like Citibank, Bank of New York, and Bank of America--were critical to the financing of slavery; that they saw their fortunes rise dramatically from their involvement in the business of enslavement; and that white business leaders and their surrounding communities created enormous wealth from the enslavement and abuse of Black bodies.

The Stolen Wealth of Slavery grapples with facts that will be a revelation to many: Most white Southern enslavers were not rich--many were barely making ends meet--with Northern businesses benefitting the most from bondage-based profits. And some of the very Northerners who would be considered pro-Union during the Civil War were in fact anti-abolition, seeing the institution of slavery as being in their best financial interests, and only supporting the Union once they realized doing so would be good for business. It is a myth that the wealth generated from slavery vanished after the war. Rather, it helped finance the industrialization of the country, and became part of the bedrock of the growth of modern corporations, helping to transform America into a global economic behemoth.

In this remarkable book, Montero elegantly and meticulously details rampant Northern investment in slavery. He showcases exactly what was stolen, who stole it, and to whom it is owed, calling for corporate reparations as he details contemporary movements to hold companies accountable for past atrocities.


David Montero is a journalist and producer. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Nation, Harvard Business Review, and more. He is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships. His first book was Kickback: Exposing the Global Corporate Bribery Network.


Michael Eric Dyson (Foreword) is Distinguished University Professor of African American and Diaspora Studies at Vanderbilt University and author of 25 books, including 7 New York Times bestsellers, among them Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America.


  • Publisher: ‎Legacy Lit (February 6, 2024)
  • Language: ‎English
  • Hardcover: ‎368 pages
  • ISBN-10: ‎0306827174
  • ISBN-13: ‎9780306827174
  • Item Weight: ‎1 pound
  • Dimensions: ‎6 x 1.19 x 9 inches


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