Sugar and Slaves
First published by UNC Press in 1972, Sugar and Slaves presents a vivid portrait of English life in the Caribbean more than three centuries ago. Using a host of contemporary primary sources, Richard Dunn traces the development of plantation slave society in the region. He examines sugar production techniques, the…
Why read it?
2 authors picked Sugar and Slaves as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?
I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that modern historical scholarship focused upon the West Indies begins with Richard S. Dunn’s Sugar and Slaves. Blazing a trail that nearly all subsequent scholars in the field continue to travel, Dunn’s work brings a materialist and statistical awareness to the study of Caribbean history. Though this may sound like a recipe for aridity, the results are anything but dry. In his analysis of medical records, census data, mortality rates, and summaries of plantation inventories, Dunn opens up a picture of the English West Indies not as a society with slaves,…
My copy is loaded with underlines, dogears, and stickies to signify the wealth of information provided, particularly on the West Indies slave trade. From the geography of the islands to architecture, planting schedules, clothing fabrics, political corruption, and the slave market, Dunn covers everything in an interesting and illuminating way.
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