Apocalypse of Our Times
Date Written: 2019-01-01
Publisher: Against the Current
Year Published: 2019
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX23473
Review of Gerald Horne's "Apocalypse of Settler Colonialism," a look at the 17th century origins of the slave trade.
Apocalypse of Settler Colonialism:
The Roots of Slavery, White Supremacy and Capitalism
in Seventeenth-Century North America and the Caribbean
By Gerald Horne
New York: Monthly Review Press, 2018, 260 pages, paper $25
An apocalypse is "damage on an awesome or catastrophic scale," and Gerald Horne traces the transcontinental social devastation wrought in the 17th century both by the usual-suspect perpetrators - slave traders and owners - and by their unindicted co-conspirators, champions of mercantile and political freedoms in the British Isles and prerevolutionary American colonies.
Horne, professor of African-American history at the University of Houston, is an unusually multifaceted scholar, not only a historian but also a lawyer, and the prolific author of some 30 books. In this work he argues that profit lust and racialist ideology linked - and still link - the seemingly contradictory impulses of reactionaries on one hand and champions of democratic freedoms on the other.