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An Archaeology of Unchecked Capitalism: From the American Rust Belt to the Developing World

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An Archaeology of Unchecked Capitalism

From the American Rust Belt to the Developing World

Paul A. Shackel

164 pages, 10 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78920-547-3 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (December 2019)

eISBN 978-1-78920-548-0 eBook

Hb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook! $27.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“Highly recommended.” • Choice

“This is a magnificent book and deserves to be widely read. At a time when many people around the world are losing faith in politicians and American global leadership it illustrates how historical archaeology can connect past and present and reveals how the ‘slow violence’ of industrial capitalism has devastated landscapes and continues to blight the lives of transgenerational global communities.” • James Symonds, University of Amsterdam


The racialization of immigrant labor and the labor strife in the coal and textile communities in northeastern Pennsylvania appears to be an isolated incident in history. Rather this history can serve as a touchstone, connecting the history of the exploited laborers to today’s labor in the global economy. By drawing parallels between the past and present – for example, the coal mines of the nineteenth-century northeastern Pennsylvania and the sweatshops of the twenty-first century in Bangladesh – we can have difficult conversations about the past and advance our commitment to address social justice issues.

Paul Shackel is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Maryland. His research projects have focused on the role of archaeology in civic engagement activities related to race and labor. A sample of his work on this topic includes: New Philadelphia: An Archaeology of Race in the Heartland (2011), and a coauthored volume with Barbara Little - Archaeology, Heritage and Civic Engagement: Working toward the Public Good (2014).  He recently published Remembering Lattimer: Migration, Labor, and Race in Pennsylvania Anthracite Country (2018) which focuses on labor and migration in northern Appalachia in the United States.

Subject: Archaeology History (General) Political and Economic Anthropology
Area: North America


List of Illustrations


Chapter 1. The History of Race in the Anthracite Coal Region
Chapter 2. An Archaeology of Immigration, Race, and Poverty in the Anthracite Coal Region
Chapter 3. Historic Trauma: Health and Well-Being in Northeastern Pennsylvania
Chapter 4. Offshoring the Textile Industry and Tragedy
Chapter 5. Offshoring Mining Industries and Tragedy

Conclusion: Difficult Histories are a Reality in the Present


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