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Bay Area Book Festival

  • Hotel Shattuck, Plaza Crystal Ballroom 2086 Allston Way Berkeley, CA, 94704 United States (map)

The Business of Brutality: Slavery and the Foundations of Capitalism 

Look around. How much of our infrastructure—from roads and bridges to factories and food supplies—was built on the backs of American slaves? Three writer-researchers examine how the brutal history of slavery laid the foundation of American capitalism and shaped today’s racial and economic inequality. In “They Were Her Property,” Stephanie Jones-Rogers reveals the active role that white women played in the American slave economy. In “Accounting for Slavery,” Caitlin Rosenthal examines how elite planters turned their power over enslaved people into a productivity advantage. In “Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom,” David Blight investigates the legacy of the escaped slave and abolitionist, who wrote, “The white man’s happiness cannot be purchased by the black man’s misery.”

Tickets required for entry.

A book signing follows the panel.