On February 21, 1803, Colonel Edward (Ned) Marcus Despard was publicly hanged and decapitated in London before a crowd of 20,000 for organizing a revolutionary conspiracy to overthrow King George III. His Black Caribbean wife, Catherine (Kate), helped to write his gallows speech in which he proclaimed that he was a friend to the poor and oppressed. He expressed trust that "the principles of freedom, of humanity, and of justice will triumph over falsehood, tyranny, and delusion."
And yet the world turned. From the connected events of the American, French, Haitian, and failed Irish Revolutions, to the Anthropocene's birth amidst enclosures, war-making global capitalism, slave labor plantations, and factory machine production, Red Round Globe Hot Burning throws readers into the pivotal moment of the last two millennia. This monumental history, packed with a wealth of detail, presents a comprehensive chronicle of the resistance to the demise of communal regimes. Peter Linebaugh's extraordinary narrative recovers the death-defying heroism of extended networks of underground resisters fighting against privatization of the commons accomplished by two new political entities, the U.S.A. and the U.K., that we now know would dispossess people around the world through today. Red Round Globe Hot Burning is the culmination of a lifetime of research--encapsulated through an epic tale of love.
"This wide-ranging, intricate, penetrating analysis of the developing process of enclosure and exploitation during a critical era of the development of capitalism in the Atlantic world, and the manifold modes of popular resistance, provides fascinating insight into the origins of our society, with rich implications for addressing its crimes and its current race to destruction."--Noam Chomsky
"It's often assumed that superb scholarship and beautiful writing are rival forces, but in Peter Linebaugh's work they are the same tremendous force evoking and contextualizing moments of crisis and possibility in the past with a vividness that casts new light on our own time."--Rebecca Solnit, author of A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster
"Poetic and moving, Red Round Globe Hot Burning shows what history can do. This is the work of a historian of genius, rich in detail, powerfully written, and animated by a passion for justice."--Silvia Federici, author of Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation
"A remarkable tour de force of eloquence and erudition, Peter Linebaugh's new book brilliantly recovers the popular-democratic histories of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, tracking them back and forth across the Atlantic Ocean and the Irish Sea. Histories of capitalist modernity, he shows, are inseparable from the courageous creativity of the popular struggles whose defeats enabled them."--Geoff Eley, author of A Crooked Line: From Cultural History to the History of Society
"Peter Linebaugh is the best, most creative, most original historian living today. Red Round Globe Hot Burning can be seen as a distillation of his life's work. This is a window on the six-hundred-year struggle over the commons that has a lot to say about our current times. Writing in prose that channels the poetry of William Blake in every sentence, this may be his most innovative book, yet."--Robin Kelley, author of Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination
Table of Contents:
PART ONE - THE QUEST
SECTION A - THE QUEST
1 - The Grave of a Woman
2 - Quest for the Commons
SECTION B - THANATOCRACY
3 - Despard at the Gallows
4 - Gallows Humor and the Gibbets of Civilization
5 - Apples from the Green Tree of Liberty
SECTION C - UNDERGROUND
6 - The Anthropocene and the Stages of History
7 - E. P. Thompson and the Irish Commons
PART TWO - ATLANTIC MOUNTAINS
SECTION D - IRELAND
8 - Habendum and the Anglo-Irish Ascendancy
9 - Hotchpot, or Celtic Communism
10 - "That's True Anyhow"
11 - A Boy amid the Whiteboys
12 - The Same Cont.
SECTION E - AMERICA
13 - America! Utopia! Equality! Crap.
14 - Cooperation and Survival in Jamaica
15 - Nicaragua and the Miskito Commons
16 - Honduras and the Mayan Commons
SECTION F - HAITI
17 - Haiti and Thelwall
18 - Ireland and Volney
19 - A Spot in Time
20 - Their Son
SECTION G - ENGLAND
21 - "A System of Man-Eaters"
22 - The Goose and the Commons, c. 1802
23 - "The Den of Thieves"
24 - Commons or True Commons
PART THREE - LOVE AND STRUGGLE
SECTION H - THE "BUSINESS"
25 - "The Business"
26 - The Kiss of Love and Equalization
27 - Criminalization in the Labor Process
28 - Irish Labor, English Coal
SECTION I - PRISON
29 - In Debt in Prison
30 - In Prison without a Spoon: The Commons of the Meal
31 - Rackets in King's Bench Prison: The Commons of Play
32 - Catherine Despard Confronts the Penitentiary
SECTION J - TWO STORIES
33 - "The Whole Business of Man"
34 - The Red Cap of Liberty
35 - The Red-Crested Bird and Black Duck
36 - What Is the Human Race?