Still a player, thanks to subsidiesEmpire of Cotton: A Global History. By Sven Beckert. Knopf; 615 pages; $35. Allen Lane; 30. Buy from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.ukGOOD economic history tells dramatic stories of ingenuity and aspiration, greed and national self-interest. Sven Beckert writes good economic history. But why cotton' Mr Beckert's answer is that for 900 years, until 1900, it was the world's most important manufacturing industry. Cotton is relevant now because the story explains how and why an industry goes global. It is a story of wildly fluctuating fortunes, from stunning wealth to dire social disasters.India runs like a thread through this tale. Cotton was being spun in the Indus Valley in 3000BC; Herodotus admired its quality. Spinning and weaving cotton (the word comes from qutn in Arabic) were introduced to Europe by Muslim invaders in the tenth...Continue reading Click here to read full news..