The Making of New World Slavery
From the Baroque to the Modern, 1492-1800
Part of the Verso World History series
  • -1
  • 0
  • 1
Paperback with free ebook
$39.95$27.9630% off
608 pages / August 2010 / 9781844676316

Please allow an additional 10–12 days for this book to be dispatched. Please note that this book may ship after other items in your order.

July 2020 / 9781789600841
Hardback with free ebook
608 pages / August 2010 / 9781844676323

Not in stock

Tracing European doctrines of race and slavery from medieval times to the early modern epoch.

The Making of New World Slavery argues that independent commerce, geared to burgeoning consumer markets, was the driving force behind the rise of plantation slavery. The baroque state sought—successfully—to feed upon this commerce and—with markedly less success—to regulate slavery and racial relations. To illustrate this thesis, Blackburn examines the deployment of slaves in the colonial possessions of the Portuguese, the Spanish, the Dutch, the English and the French. Plantation slavery is shown to have emerged from the impulses of civil society, not from the strategies of individual states.

Robin Blackburn argues that the organization of slave plantations placed the West on a destructive path to modernity and that greatly preferable alternatives were both proposed and rejected. Finally, he shows that the surge of Atlantic trade, predicated on the murderous toil of the plantations, made a decisive contribution to both the Industrial Revolution and the rise of the West.


“Blackburn's book has finally drawn the veil which concealed or made mysterious the history and development of modem society.”

“A magnificent work of contemporary scholarship.”

“Sombre, dark and masterly.”

“An exhaustive, powerfully written and compelling book.”

“Extremely well-researched and readable.... Highly recommended.”

Verso recommends