This collection of eight essays offers a variety of approaches to the study of societies involved in sugar production around the world from the seventeenth century to the present. They are united by their attention to the class dynamics embedded in sugar production over time. The essays fall roughly into four categories. Two essays on the literature of sugar plantation societies in the Caribbean and Mascarenes, one by Sada Niang and the other by Joyce Leung, trace a historical shift from the representation of sugarcane workers as mere instruments of production to their more recent representation as self-possessed human beings. Unfortunately, both of these essays suffer from opaque rhetoric and jargon, which is especially misplaced in a volume that aims to reach across disciplinary boundaries.

Two essays by Bernard Moitt (one coauthored with Horace L. Henriques) reveal that enslaved people in the French Caribbean and the region that became British...

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