Trim: 6 x 9
978-0-7391-9246-7 • Hardback • May 2014 • $101.00 • (£78.00)
978-0-7391-9400-3 • Paperback • May 2016 • $48.99 • (£38.00)
978-0-7391-9247-4 • eBook • May 2014 • $46.50 • (£36.00)
Barbara L. Solow retired from the W. E. B. Du Bois Research Institute at Harvard University after having taught economics at Brandeis University and Boston University.
Chapter 1: Capitalism and Slavery in the Exceedingly Long Run
Chapter 2: Slavery and Colonization
Chapter 3: Eric Williams and His Critics
Chapter 4: Why Columbus Failed: The New World without Slavery
Chapter 5: Caribbean Slavery and British Growth: The Eric Williams Hypothesis
Chapter 6: Marx, Slavery, and American Economic Growth
Chapter 7: The Transition to Plantation Slavery: The Case of the British West Indies
Solow provides important insights for understanding the economics of slavery in the Americas. This posthumous volume brings together some of her seminal publications based on her research throughout the past twenty-five years. It well deserves to be collected in a convenient volume for scholars who study slavery in the Americas. The central theme is the significance of the institution of slavery in modern economic development. Always written with a brilliance and flare, Solow’s work ably outlines the basic features of slavery as a system and economic structure. Although her analysis is heavily weighted toward British and North American history, her explanation of slavery’s underpinnings in economic terms applies to any society in any time period.
— Journal of Interdisciplinary History
Solow’s book...will give students an interesting and useful introduction to examining major aspects of the history of slavery and the way it effected (and was affected by) its role in the world economy.
— New West Indian Guide
These papers by Barbara Solow on capitalism and slavery have radically altered our view of the whole subject of the role of the Atlantic slave trade in relation to the British Industrial Revolution and to the evolution of capitalism as a global system. They provide not only the most vigorous and successful defense of the still highly controversial ‘Williams Thesis’ that we have in the literature, but go well beyond that thesis itself in placing the entire historical episode in a global context that is more extended in both space and time.
— Ronald Findlay, Columbia University
The essays gathered in this volume examine the relation of slavery and capitalism over long historical time. In them Barbara Solow combines the analytical rigor of an economist and the sensitivity to social and political context of an historian. Her comprehensive temporal and geographical scope together with her uncommonly broad vision, originality, and insight deepen our understanding of old problems and provide new questions for further inquiry. They will be necessary reading for students of slavery, capitalism, and the Atlantic world.
— Dale Tomich, Binghamton University
Barbara Solow is a pioneer in the study of the economics of the slave trade and of slavery itself. Her penetrating, quizzical essays on Eric Williams' view of slavery's contribution to capitalism as well as her other studies of slavery and the growth of capitalism are brought together in this volume and thus given the permanent place in the literature that they deserve.
— Bernard Bailyn, Harvard University