Abolition and Plantation Management in Jamaica, 1807-1838
University of the West Indies Press 2012
New Books in British StudiesNew Books in Caribbean StudiesNew Books in EconomicsNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in SociologyNew Books Network January 30, 2017 Daniel Livesay
Dave Gosse’s recent book Abolition and Plantation Management in Jamaica, 1807-1838 (University of the West Indies Press, 2012), looks at a crucial period in Jamaican history. The time between the abolition of Britain’s slave trade in 1807 and the end of slavery and the apprenticeship system in 1838 saw dramatic attempts by plantation owners and managers to continue grinding profit out of their enslaved workers. Gosse takes on previous assumptions about the efficiency and success of those planters and overseers, by arguing that Jamaican management in this period was largely a failure. Not only did the business culture on plantations encourage negligence, and sometimes theft, but those supervising enslaved workers made little attempt to ameliorate their condition. This exacerbated illness, mortality, and encouraged enslaved Jamaicans to push back. The book brings new perspectives on the end of a brutal and exploitative period in Jamaican history.