Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture

Leading Early American Scholarship Since 1943


Books

Unless otherwise indicated, all OI books are distributed by The University of North Carolina Press.


Sugar and Slaves

The Rise of the Planter Class in the English West Indies, 1624–1713

Richard Dunn


Paper: 978-0-8078-4877-7 ($28.95)

Copyright 1972
University of North Carolina Press

A Prize-Winning Book

  • Jamestown Prize (1972)
  • Walter D. Love Memorial Prize, Conference on British Studies (1973)
  • Finalist, National Book Award (1973)

Description

First published by UNC Press in 1972, Sugar and Slaves presents a vivid portrait of English life in the Caribbean more than three centuries ago. Using a host of contemporary primary sources, Richard Dunn traces the development of plantation slave society in the region. He examines sugar production techniques, the vicious character of the slave trade, the problems of adapting English ways to the tropics, and the appalling mortality rates for both blacks and whites that made these colonies the richest, but in human terms the least successful, in English America.


About the Author

Richard S. Dunn is director of the McNeil Center for Early American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.


Reviews

[Features] lively and well-informed discussions of the West Indian economy, society, culture, and political organization in the seventeenth century.

--Elsa V. Goveia


A study of major importance: the first systematic and extended account of the emergence and character of an elite group for any of the English colonies during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. . . . Dunn not only provides the most solid and precise account ever written of the social development of the British West Indies down to 1713, he also challenges some traditional historical cliches.

--Jack P. Greene


A masterly analysis of the Caribbean plantation slave society, its lifestyles, ethnic relations, afflictions, and peculiarities.

--Journal of Modern History


A remarkable account of the rise of the planter class in the West Indies. . . . Dunn's [work] is rich social history, based on factual data brought to life by his use of contemporary narrative accounts.

--New York Review of Books


A study of major importance. . . . Dunn not only provides the most solid and precise account ever written of the social development of the British West Indies down to 1713, he also challenges some traditional historical cliches.

--American Historical Review


A masterly analysis of the Caribbean plantation slave society, its lifestyles, ethnic relations, afflictions, and peculiarities.

--Journal of Modern History


Should be necessary reading for those concerned with slavery and slave societies, as well as colonial development in the Western Hemisphere in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Professor Dunn has written an excellent book: not only is it informative, it is also readable.

--Business History Review


[This] elegantly written book is easily the finest on the subject and a major addition to colonial scholarship.

--Journal of Economic History


Dunn's work is a model of contemporary historical research. He writes with admirable clarity.

--London Financial Times


A study of major importance: the first systematic and extended account of the emergence and character of an elite group for any of the English colonies during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. . . . Dunn not only provides the most solid and precise account ever written of the social development of the British West Indies down to 1713, he also challenges some traditional historical cliches.

--Jack P. Greene, American Historical Review


[Features] lively and well-informed discussions of the West Indian economy, society, culture, and political organization in the seventeenth century.

--Elsa V. Goveia, William and Mary Quarterly


A remarkable account of the rise of the planter class in the West Indies. . . . Dunn's is rich social history, based on factual data brought to life by his use of contemporary narrative accounts.

--Willie Lee Rose, New York Review of Books