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The Reckoning: From the Second Slavery to Abolition, 1776-1888 (Hardcover)

The Reckoning: From the Second Slavery to Abolition, 1776-1888 By Robin Blackburn Cover Image
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"Tremendously impressive, the result of a lifetime of learning. Historical writing at its best."
—Marcus Rediker, author of The Slave Ship

A history of 19th century slavery in the US, Brazil and Cuba from a critically acclaimed historian of slavery in the Americas

The Reckoning offers the first rounded account of the rise and fall of the Second Slavery—largescale plantation slavery in nineteenth-century Brazil, Cuba and the US South. Robin Blackburn shows how a fusion of industrial capitalism and transatlantic war and revolution turbo-charged racial oppression and the westwards expansion of the United States.

Blackburn identifies the new territories, new victims and new battle cries of the Second Slavery. He emphasises the role of financial credit in the spread of plantation agriculture, traces the connections between slavery and the US Civil War, and asks why Brazil threw off Portuguese rule whereas Cuba became one of imperial Spain’s final outposts.

The Second Slavery faced a fearful reckoning in the 1860s and after when the supposedly invincible Slave Power was defied by extraordinary cross-class, international and interracial alliances. Blackburn narrates the abolitionists’ difficult victory over the enslavers, while documenting the racial backlash which brought on Jim Crow and cheated the freedmen and freedwomen of the fruits of their struggle.

About the Author

Robin Blackburn is emeritus professor at the University of Essex. He is the author of many books including The Making of New World Slavery: 1492-1800, The American Crucible, The Overthrow of Colonial Slavery: 1776-1848 and an essay on Abraham Lincoln and Karl Marx, An Unfinished Revolution.

Praise For…

"Tremendously impressive, the result of a lifetime of learning. Historical writing at its best"
—Marcus Rediker, author of The Slave Ship

"By concluding his decades-long project on New World slavery, and by drawing the attention of British readers to an often-neglected aspect of that history, Blackburn has fittingly capped a lifetime of scholarship."
—Michael Taylor, Literary Review

"A comprehensive history of the final years of slavery in the Americas ... The Reckoning provides important insight into why the United States political and commercial reality is where it's at today."
—Ron Jacobs, Counterpunch

"A magnificent conclusion to a quartet of books on New World slavery ... in explaining the economics of the Second Slavery [Blackburn] never lets us forget the brutality under-pinning it. It kept me riveted throughout."
—Chris Bambery, Counterfire

"Robin Blackburn, longtime editor of the New Left Review, is probably the foremost Marxist historian of New World slavery working today ... With The Reckoning: From the Second Slavery to Abolition, 1776-1888, the historian provides the long-awaited concluding volume to his chronological trilogy on racial slavery in the New World."
—Owen Dowling, Jacobin

"Slavery in America, Brazil, and Cuba relied on capitalist markets, which supplied credit and demand for slave-made goods. The Reckoning, Robin Blackburn's monumental history, offers a dizzying account of the politics behind this system's rise and fall."
—Alec Israeli, Jacobin

Product Details
ISBN: 9781804293416
ISBN-10: 1804293415
Publisher: Verso
Publication Date: February 20th, 2024
Pages: 544
Language: English

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