JBS review of Robins, Cotton and Race

In a new review forthcoming in the Journal of British Studies, Steven Toms says Cotton and Race across the Atlantic is “an absorbing interplay of economics and politics straddling three continents at the height of the age of imperialism,” and “a valuable contribution to the history of cotton, not just of the commodity, but also of the social relations surrounding its cultivation and production.”



A living book?

It’s not often that historians get a chance to revisit their published work. Only the most successful books merit a second edition and a chance to revise and expand the original scholarship. The rest of us have to live with what we wrote. We can be excused for missing brand new articles and books, but it’s frustrating to find older materials after publication that might have filled some gap in the book.

As an experiment, I am starting a “living bibliography” for my first book, Cotton and Race across the Atlantic. My goal is to document sources that have been published since the book was completed, that were previously unavailable, or that I simply didn’t find.

The first entry is a 1975 article on sesame seed production among the Tiv in southeastern Nigeria. I came across this article while researching vegetable oils, and was surprised to see that the article actually spent several pages discussing colonial cotton projects. I am almost 100% sure I have read this article before, but it never made its way into my bibliography and I did not use the archival sources the author reproduces. Oops.