Almost seventy years ago, Eric Williams published his classic Capitalism and Slavery (re-titled for this edition, British Capitalism and British Slavery). In the new introduction, historian Seymour Drescher notes, "If one criterion of a classic is its ability to reorient our most basic way of viewing an object or a concept, Eric Williams's study supremely passes that test.... The [book...] made it impossible for historians ever to return to the posture of splendid moral isolation which characterized the story of British slave emancipation for more than a century. Williams's foremost aim was to insist as never before on the banality of the history of slavery.... Williams's most enduring message was that abolition could not have triumphed independently of economic developments linked to industrialization." Readers interested in capitalism, transatlantic slaving, industrialization, , and Africa and the (British) Caribbean will find much to digest in the new introduction and in the classic text itself.
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