Christy Clark-Pujara’s Dark Work uses a case study of Rhode Island to engage in the popular field of the history of capitalism, arguing that capitalism and slavery “far from being separate and incompatible systems were utterly interdependent” (2). In support of this claim, Clark-Pujara employs the phrase “business of slavery” to describe Rhode Island’s extensive economic commitment to slavery. She defines the “business of slavery” as “all economic activity that was directly related to the maintenance of slaveholding in the Americas, specifically the buying and selling of people, food, and goods. The business of slavery, as distinct from the institution of slavery, allowed New England to become an economic powerhouse without ever producing a staple or cash crop” (2). Referring to such economic connections as the business of slavery is a much-needed intervention in the current debate surrounding the economic role...
Review Article| December 01 2017
Dark Work: The Business of Slavery in Rhode Island by Christy Clark-Pujara
Dark Work: The Business of Slavery in Rhode Island, Clark-Pujara, Christy,
New York University Press,
2016, xiv + 224 pp., $40.00 (cloth)
Labor (2017) 14 (4): 93–94.
Alexandra Finley; Dark Work: The Business of Slavery in Rhode Island by Christy Clark-Pujara. Labor 1 December 2017; 14 (4): 93–94. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/15476715-4209448
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