Julie HolcombDec 13, 2016
Quakers and the Transatlantic Boycott of the Slave Labor Economy
Cornell University Press 2016
The question of how we should act when facing something gravely immoral is a difficult one. This is particularly true when that immorality touches upon our everyday life. Such was the issue that Quakers, and others, faced with the question of goods produced by slaves. Was consuming goods, such as sugar or cotton clothing manufactured by slaves incompatible with abolitionism? Could the refusal to consume such goods contribute to the liberation of slaves? In her new book, Moral Commerce: Quakers and the Transatlantic Boycott of the Slave Labor Economy (Cornell University Press, 2016), Dr. Julie Holcomb focuses on abolitionists who answered yes to both of these questions. In this carefully researched and fascinating study, Holcomb examines the boycott movement in the Atlantic world, focusing on Britain and the United States, and ties together various discourses on race, religion, culture, and the economy. This book is particularly well suited for those interested in the history of abolitionism, but because of the wide variety of subjects it covers, virtually every reader can find something useful in it.