The Making of New World Slavery: From the Baroque to the Modern, 1492-1800 Paperback – 23 Apr 1998
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Here is what the reviewers wrote about Robin Blackburn's companion study The Overthrow of Colonial Slavery, 1776-1848: "One of the finest studies of slavery and abolition to appear in many years." - Eric Foner, Dissent "The first historian since Eric Williams to present a comprehensive interpretation. But Blackburn, profiting from and admirably synthesising the vast scholarship produced since Capitalism and Slavery (1944) is far less rigid and doctrinaire, much more attuned to the workings of politics." - David Briton David, New York Review "An incisive synthesis of developments in North America, the Caribbean and Latin America. Blackburn's book is bold and original." - Richard Dunn, Times Literary Supplement
About the Author
Robin Blackburn is editor of New Left Review and the author of The Overthrow of Colonial Slavery. During the course of writing this book he was a Fellow of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington D.C., and a Visiting Professor at FLASCO (Facultad Latinamericano de Ciencias Sociales), Quito, Ecuador.
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Top Customer Reviews
It is this density of factual and intellectual quality which actually makes it a difficult book to read. It took me the best part of a year, on and off, to make my way through it.
The Making of New World Slavery is two books in one. The first deals with how and why New World slavery came into being and examines the economic rationale behind it, the economic systems which developed associated with slavery and the ideological justifications for it and the emergence of modern racism as a consequence of the slavery of Africans. There is also a discussion on previous forms of slavery such as that in Rome.
The second examines how surplus value was extracted from plantation slavery and how this surplus relates to Marxist concepts of 'primitive accumulation' and how plantation slavery and the capital generated from it helped cement the rise of industrial capitalism in Britain.
A truly great book.
It describes the setting up of the trade occurred and how it operated in practice. The brutality, the mechanics of how slaves were obtained how they were sold, what they did as slaves.
The absence of passion makes the book an even more powerful indictment of the institution of slavery. It describes how in most of the colonies slaves were over time worked to death. In Brazil, the usual life expectancy was seven years.
The book is challenging as it raises questions about the origin of our societies and seriously challenges the notions that European Society was either civilized or Christian.