Seymour Drescher’s regular, deeply-thought and carefully nuanced arguments have periodically reshaped how we think of the subject of the history of slavery itself. He has discussed the impact of economic and cultural factors on human behaviour and has shown that historical evidence does not lead to easy answers. He has changed the way in which we now look at abolitionism and has destroyed the linear explanation of economic decline. This books gathers together some of Drescher’s key essays in the field.
Table of Contents
1. White Atlantic? The choice for African Slave Labor in the Plantation Americas
2. The Shocking Birth of British Abolitionism
3. Whose Abolition? Popular Pressure and the Ending of the British Slave Trade
4. Cart Whip and Billy Roller: Antislavery and Reform Symbolism in Industrializing Britain
5. Women’s Mobilization in the Era of Slave Emancipation: Some Anglo-French Comparisons
6. Civilizing Insurgency: Two Variants of Slave Revolts
7. Liberty, Equality Humanity: Antislavery and Civil Society in Britain and France
8. Emperors of the World: British Abolitionism and Imperialism
9. History’s Engines: British Mobilization in the Age of Revolution
10. Civil Society and Paths to Abolition
11. Abolition and Civil Society: East and West
12. Britain, India and Bondage, Part One: Birth of the "Slow Death of Slavery"
13. Britain, India and Bondage, Part Two: Indentured Emigration
Seymour Drescher is Professor of History at the University of Pittsburgh, USA.
"Seymour Drescher challenges some of the most pre-eminent historical interpretations of slavery and antislavery of recent decades. A baker’s dozen of feisty, thought-provoking, and erudite essays on slavery and antislavery throughout the long British empire, often refracted though a comparative lens. With vast knowledge, lucid prose, and trenchant analysis, Drescher engages readers to think in new ways about the uses of slavery and antislavery to empire and the emergence of the modern political culture of human rights."
Sue Peabody, Washington State University, U.S.A.
"Over the past four decades Seymour Drescher has been the leading scholar influencing the understanding of the process of the abolition of slavery. This major collection contains thirteen of his most significant essays, including his influential path-breaking works on British and French abolition, and here expanding his scope to include the process of abolition elsewhere in Europe, the Middle East, and India. With the depth of his scholarship, his extensive research in primary and secondary sources, and its new interpretations this is an indispensable book, not only for understanding the nature of slavery and abolition, but other aspects of the eighteenth and nineteenth century world."
Stanley L. Engerman, Professor Emeritus of Economics, University of Rochester, U.S.A.