Monthly Archives: September 2013

Review: American Crucible: Slavery, Emancipation and Human Rights

Blackburn’s American Crucible contains a thorough review of Atlantic historical scholarship with an emphasis on Atlantic Revolutions, slavery and abolitionist thought. He revisits Eric Williams’s famous thesis on the role of modern slavery as key to the development of industrial revolution, spearheaded by the British. Blackburn concludes that while slavery was key to the relative political dominance of Britain, the expansion of industrial capitalism could have happened without the system of slavery.

Review: American Crucible: Slavery, Emancipation and Human Rights

Blackburn’s American Crucible contains a thorough review of Atlantic historical scholarship with an emphasis on Atlantic Revolutions, slavery and abolitionist thought. He revisits Eric Williams’s famous thesis on the role of modern slavery as key to the development of industrial revolution, spearheaded by the British. Blackburn concludes that while slavery was key to the relative political dominance of Britain, the expansion of industrial capitalism could have happened without the system of slavery.

Review: Mockingbird Song: Ecological Landscapes of the South

While presenting a detailed account on the transformation of the natural environment in the South, the book is less successful at coming to grips with the nature of human interaction with nature. Kirby portrays modern social relations as the shadows of the abstract force of “Modernity,” a term that despite making a recurring appearance is not well-defined in his narrative. At time, modernity appears as an extension of “European imperialism,” at other times it is the force behind the post-Civil War transformation of the Southern landscape.

Review: Mockingbird Song: Ecological Landscapes of the South

While presenting a detailed account on the transformation of the natural environment in the South, the book is less successful at coming to grips with the nature of human interaction with nature. Kirby portrays modern social relations as the shadows of the abstract force of “Modernity,” a term that despite making a recurring appearance is not well-defined in his narrative. At time, modernity appears as an extension of “European imperialism,” at other times it is the force behind the post-Civil War transformation of the Southern landscape.

Review: Racecraft: The Soul of Inequality in American Life

Racecraft: The Soul of Inequality in American Life argues that the invocation of “race” obscures the nature of social inequality, masking problems of an economic and political nature under the guise of race and racism. Fields & Fields argue that despite the inadequacy of the term, race has become a real abstraction, i.e., an ideology. Key to their understanding of the emergence of race is the role that it played in justifying — and rationalizing– the system of American black slavery.

Review: Racecraft: The Soul of Inequality in American Life

Racecraft: The Soul of Inequality in American Life argues that the invocation of “race” obscures the nature of social inequality, masking problems of an economic and political nature under the guise of race and racism. Fields & Fields argue that despite the inadequacy of the term, race has become a real abstraction, i.e., an ideology. Key to their understanding of the emergence of race is the role that it played in justifying — and rationalizing– the system of American black slavery.