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...

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