Most canonical interpretations of the American Civil War revolve around some facet of the great national contest over the status and future of slavery in the western territories.
It is difficult to believe now that generations of scholars in the 20th century argued with insistence that the indigenous cultures of the Americas were destroyed by European imperial expansion.
In 1833, after centuries of resistance and rebellion by enslaved people, decades of popularly-mobilized antislavery protests, and years of economic struggle on colonial plantations, England’s Parliament initiated the process of slave emancipation in the British Empire.
Ikuko Asaka opens this ambitious book by referencing the climatic and geographic rebuttal of black journalist and abolitionist Mary Ann Shadd.
In Caribbean New Orleans Cécile Vidal has brought together a prodigious volume and range of archival research in what is the most detailed social history of the city during the French period.
Sometimes (not often enough) an academic book comes along that ticks all the boxes: it is based on thorough research, spanning archives on different continents, engaging with rich and varied source materials; it is held together by a tight set of themes; it is written in beautiful prose.