- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
New West Indian GuideBarbaric Traffic adds to our understanding of late-eighteenth-century attitudes to commerce, civility, and race. Because historians have known for some time that antislavery thought legitimized emerging liberal capitalism (a literature which this book summarizes beautifully), the principal value of Gould's account lies in the nuanced appreciation he brings to the role of race and commerce in discussions of the slave trade. He argues convincingly that the mutually constitutive relations of sentiment and capitalism forged racial and cultural boundaries. In the process, he reinvigorates early antislavery literature as a subject for discussion, not as a route to understanding the causative role it played in ending slavery but rather as a crucible in which nineteenth-century attitudes to race, manners, and commerce and their interrelationships were cast. This contribution will delight historians and literary critics alike.
— William A. Pettigrew