Servitude in Modern Times
November 2000, Polity
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'The author takes as his subject practically every form of labour, apart from freewage labour, that has existed between the sixteenth century and the present. His concern, however, is less with the persistence of archaic institutions than with the emergence of new commercially driven forms of bondage, among them the slave empires of the new World and the so-called new serfdom of Eastern Europe. Far from being a relic left over from earlier times, servitude is shown as playing a key role in the shaping of the modern world. The evidence for this is so overwhelming that one wonders why it has so frequently been overlooked...As a historian hitherto principally concerned with European social stratification, Bush has no time for handwringing over the injustices of the past, preferring to emphasize the positive contributions made to the shaping of the modern world by those who laboured under duress.' Howard Temperley, Times Literary Supplement
'A well researched and skillfully written book ... This work makes a significant contribution to the study of servitude. The depth to which Bush plumbs his subject exceeds most works. It can serve as an introductory work to the subject for interested readers, but it can also be profitably mined by professional historians, sociologists, psychologists and college students.' History