phD candidate in Global History and Governance of the Scuola Superiore Meridionale, at the University of Naples – Federico II (Italy)

The three slave societies compared in this work were not chosen casually, as the authors' backgrounds have already suggested: they were associated to three different experiences of colonization and, therefore, to different legal traditions. Cuba was a Spanish colony since the 16th century. Virginia was the first enduring English colony in North America; and Louisiana, born as a French territory in the late 17th century, came under Spanish rule in the 18th century, and was purchased by the United States in the early 19th century. Knowing accurately the internal dynamics of these legal traditions turned out to be absolutely fundamental to comprehending some developments and divergences in the process of legal race-making among them--as was opportunely demonstrated in the book--but that alone could not tell the whole story...