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Robin Blackburn

Robin Blackburn (born 1940) is a British historian, a former editor of New Left Review (1981-99), an author of essays on the collapse of Soviet Communism, on the "credit crunch" of 2008, and of books on the history of slavery and on social policy. His most celebrated works, American Crucible: Slavery, Emancipation and Human Rights (2011), The Making of New World Slavery: from the Baroque to the Modern, 1492-1800 (1997) and The Overthrow of Colonial Slavery, 1776-1848 (1988), offer an account of the rise and fall of colonial slavery in the Americas, contributing to the emerging field of "Atlantic history". He has also published histories of Social Security, and critiques of the "financialisation of everyday life" and of the privatization of pension provision.

Blackburn was educated at Oxford and the LSE. Between 2001 and 2010 he was Distinguished Visiting Professor of Historical Studies at The New School in New York City. He is currently Professor of Sociology and Leverhulme research fellow at Essex University. He has been a regular contributor to New Left Review since 1962.

Selected works/articles

Robin Blackburn (right) after giving one of the Oxford Amnesty Lectures, with Robin Kelley (left) who was the chair for the event, 2010.
  • "Prologue to the Cuban Revolution", New Left Review 21 (1963)
  • Towards Socialism, edited for the New Left Review (with Perry Anderson) (1966)
  • The Incompatibles: trade union militancy and the consensus (with Alexander Cockburn)(1967)
  • Student Power: problems, diagnosis, action (edited with Alexander Cockburn (1969)
  • Strategy for revolution [essays by Régis Debray translated from the French] (editor) (1970)
  • Ideology in Social Science: readings in critical social theory (editor) (1972)
  • Explosion in a Subcontinent: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Ceylon (editor) (1975)
  • Revolution and Class Struggle: a reader in Marxist politics (editor) (1977)
  • The Overthrow of Colonial Slavery, 1776-1848 (1988), 550 pp
  • "Fin de Siecle" in After the Fall: the failure of communism and the future of socialism (editor) (1991)
  • The Making of New World slavery: from the baroque to the modern, 1492-1800 (1997), 600 pp
  • Banking on Death: Or, Investing in Life — The History and Future of Pensions (2002), 500 pp
  • "Haiti, Slavery and the Age of the Democratic Revolution", William and Mary Quarterly, 2006
  • Age Shock: How Finance Is Failing Us (2006), 280 pp
  • "Economic Democracy: Meaningful, Desirable, Feasible?",
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