[Marxism] Eric Foner review of new Robin Blackburn book on slavery

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Aug 11 10:13:29 MDT 2011

On 8/11/2011 12:03 PM, CallMe Ishmael wrote:
> Compare Greg Grandin's take:
> http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/jul/08/american-crucible-robin-blackburn-review
> "But this new book, monumental though it is, shouldn't be read as a
> culmination but rather a catching of breath, and a continuation of
> arguments initially made by the great original theorists of the
> Atlantic World system, Eric Williams, CLR James, and WEB Du Bois, who,
> writing in the early 20th century, were among the first to stress the
> importance of slavery in the creation of western culture and society."

The issue is not the "importance" of slavery but whether it should 
be understood as a "precapitalist" social relation. This is the 
consensus of the Dobb/Sweezy school and one that Blackburn seems 
to have joined, at least on the basis of my brief scanning of the 
pages that deal with this question.

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