The American Crucible by Robin Blackburn
Slavery, Emancipation and Human Rights

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The American Crucible furnishes a vivid and authoritative history of the rise and fall of slavery in the Americas. For over three centuries enslavement promoted the rise of capitalism in the Atlantic world. The New World became the crucible for a succession of fateful experiments in colonization, silver mining, plantation agriculture, racial enslavement, colonial rebellion, slave witness and slave resistance. Slave produce raised up empires, fostered new cultures of consumption and financed the breakthrough to an industrial order.

Not until the stirrings of a revolutionary age in the 1780s was there the first public challenge to the ‘peculiar institution’. An anti-slavery alliance then set the scene for great acts of emancipation in Haiti in 1804, Britain in 1833–8, the United States in the 1860s, and Cuba and Brazil in the 1880s. In The American Crucible, Robin Blackburn argues that the anti-slavery movement forged many of the ideals we live by today.

‘The best treatment of slavery in the western hemisphere I know of. I think it should
establish itself as a permanent pillar of the literature.’ Eric Hobsbawm

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About Robin Blackburn

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Robin Blackburn teaches at the New School in New York and the University of Essex in the UK. He is the author of many books, including The Making of New World Slavery, The Overthrow of Colonial Slavery, Age Shock, Banking on Death, and The American Crucible.
Published August 6, 2013 by Verso. 512 pages
Genres: History, War, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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The Guardian

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His answer is necessarily wistful: just as Marx "saw the importance of slavery at the start of the civil war, so he would surely have focused on 'winning the battle of democracy'" by urging his comrades towards a more flexible, potentially successful strategy to secure both political liberty and ...

Jul 08 2011 | Read Full Review of The American Crucible: Slaver...

Publishers Weekly

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This panoramic history, a follow-up to the author's The Making of New World Slavery, puts slavery—and the fight against it—at the heart of modernity.

Apr 18 2011 | Read Full Review of The American Crucible: Slaver...

BBC History Magazine

The saga of African slavery in the Atlantic world continues to attract some of the best historical research and argument in contemporary historiography.

| Read Full Review of The American Crucible: Slaver...

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