Incidents in the life of a slave girl - Harriet Jacobs

A first person slave narrative that was published in 1861 by Harriet Ann Jacobs, using the pen name "Linda Brent." The book is an in-depth chronological account of Jacobs's life as a slave, and the decisions and choices she made to gain freedom for herself and her children. It addresses the struggles and sexual abuse that young women slaves faced on the plantations, and how these struggles were harsher than what men suffered as slaves. Trigger warning for sexual violence.

The Project Gutenberg EBook of Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs (AKA Linda Brent)

Twelve years a slave - Solomon Northup

A harrowing first person account of a free African-American being kidnapped into slavery in Louisiana for 12 years. First published in 1853, in 2014 the book was turned into a major motion picture directed by Steve McQueen. Trigger warning for physical and sexual violence.

The Bagaudae: history's first revolutionaries? - Pablo Romero Gabella

A brief introduction to the Bagaudae, the social and historical context of the late Roman Empire, and the modern debates over the meaning of the revolts generally included under this rubric.

The Bagaudae: History’s First Revolutionaries? – Pablo Romero Gabella

“I doubt if all the philosophy in the world can succeed in suppressing slavery; it will, at most, change the name. I can well imagine forms of servitude worse than our own … [that would] transform men into stupid, complacent machines, who believe themselves free just when they are most subjugated….”

Many middle passages: forced migration and the making of the modern world - Emma Christopher, Cassandra Pybus and Marcus Rediker

Collection of essays examining how a multitude of people, from slaves to labourers, were transported across the sea, and the ways they resisted.

Lies my teacher told me: Everything your American history textbook got wrong - James W. Loewen

Americans have lost touch with their history, and in this thought-provoking book, Professor James Loewen shows why.

After surveying twelve leading high school American history texts, he has concluded that "not one" does a decent job of making history interesting or memorable. Marred by an embarrassing combination of blind patriotism, mindless optimism, sheer misinformation, and outright lies, these books omit almost all the ambiguity, passion, conflict, and drama from our past.

Abe Lincoln and the 'sublime heroism' of British workers

A blog by Paul Mason detailing the support of Manchester's white textile workers of black slaves during the American civil war. This article is reproduced here not as an uncritical endorsement of Mason or his conclusions, but as worthwhile and interesting piece exploring a little known chapter of international and racial solidarity.

Just off the vast expanse of Albert Square in Manchester is a smaller square named after an American president.

Unnoticed, for the most part, by post-pub revellers and shoppers, Abe himself towers above the scene in Lincoln Square, hatless, tousled hair flying and brow furrowed.

He is there because he wrote a letter to the people of Manchester. Well not the whole people.

Lincoln and Emancipation - Howard Zinn

Historian Howard Zinn on Abraham Lincoln and the eventual abolition of slavery in the US. Which shows that Spielberg's new film, Lincoln, is far from historically accurate.

John Brown1 was executed by the state of Virginia with the approval of the national government. It was the national government which, while weakly enforcing the law ending the slave trade, sternly enforced the laws providing for the return of fugitives to slavery.

  • 1. Libcom note: John Brown was an American abolitionist who attempted to lead a violent uprising against slavery.

The struggle of migrant workers in Castelnuovo Scrivia


Forty migrant workers have been protesting in Castelnuovo Scrivia (in Piedmont, in the district of Alessandria) since June 22.

The workers, who originally came from Morocco and were employed for the harvesting of zucchini, pumpkins and other seasonal products at the agricultural firm Lazzaro, had been reportedly working 14-hour days, and were being paid 1 euro per hour. Part of their pay was also being deducted as “dues” towards their immigration documents.

The American Road to Capitalism: Studies in Class-Structure, Economic Development and Political Conflict, 1620–1877

american road

Most US historians assume that capitalism either “came in the first ships” or was the inevitable result of the expansion of the market. Unable to analyze the dynamics of specific forms of social labour in the antebellum US, most historians of the US Civil War have privileged autonomous political and ideological factors, ignoring the deep social roots of the conflict. This book applies theoretical insights derived from the debates on the transition to capitalism in Europe to the historical literature on the US to produce a new analysis of the origins of capitalism in the US, and the social roots of the Civil War.

The American Road to Capitalism, by Charles Post.

Domination and resistance in the transatlantic world - Max Schwarz

Max Schwarz on the importance of the transatlantic slave trade in the transition from the provincial feudalism of medieval Europe to the global capitalism of the early modern world.

Nowadays, when we discuss the legacy of modern slavery, the conversation usually revolves around how bizarre, cruel and incomprehensible the whole episode was.