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Fugitive Justice: Runaways, Rescuers, and Slavery on Trial (review)

Fugitive Justice: Runaways, Rescuers, and Slavery on Trial (review) REVIEWS who oppose all efforts to regulate business or tax the rich on their own behalf '' (178). Larson concludes that market capitalism as we know it, based on high popular consumption of resources, is environmentally unsustainable. The system is urgently in need of restructuring on rationally defensible principles. Human beings have created it piece by piece, and they can adapt it if only they will. ``Why, then, do we cower whenever the friends of the capitalist system raise the shield of nature to defend the sovereignty of market forces?'' (181). As to criticism of this wise and well-informed book: Larson has very little to say about the pre-modern state of American society, for which he uses the term ``classical republicanism'' as shorthand. But his occasional brief mentions of it sometimes seem to me unduly romanticized. Just because modernization isn't all it's cracked up to be doesn't mean that what Peter Laslett called ``the world we have lost'' was. Larson writes that before the market revolution Americans had been ``comfortably embedded in relatively small communities'' (140). His word ``comfortably'' bothered me. Life in early America was not comfortable, but dirty, smelly, labor-intensive, and precarious. The human condition has http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of the Early Republic University of Pennsylvania Press

Fugitive Justice: Runaways, Rescuers, and Slavery on Trial (review)

Journal of the Early Republic , Volume 31 (3) – Aug 11, 2011

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University of Pennsylvania Press
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Copyright © University of Pennsylvania Press
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1553-0620
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Abstract

REVIEWS who oppose all efforts to regulate business or tax the rich on their own behalf '' (178). Larson concludes that market capitalism as we know it, based on high popular consumption of resources, is environmentally unsustainable. The system is urgently in need of restructuring on rationally defensible principles. Human beings have created it piece by piece, and they can adapt it if only they will. ``Why, then, do we cower whenever the friends of the capitalist system raise the shield of nature to defend the sovereignty of market forces?'' (181). As to criticism of this wise and well-informed book: Larson has very little to say about the pre-modern state of American society, for which he uses the term ``classical republicanism'' as shorthand. But his occasional brief mentions of it sometimes seem to me unduly romanticized. Just because modernization isn't all it's cracked up to be doesn't mean that what Peter Laslett called ``the world we have lost'' was. Larson writes that before the market revolution Americans had been ``comfortably embedded in relatively small communities'' (140). His word ``comfortably'' bothered me. Life in early America was not comfortable, but dirty, smelly, labor-intensive, and precarious. The human condition has

Journal

Journal of the Early RepublicUniversity of Pennsylvania Press

Published: Aug 11, 2011

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