American Lucifers: The Dark History of Artificial Light, 1750–1865

Cover of American Lucifers by Jeremy ZallenBy Jeremy Zallen

In American Lucifers, Jeremy Zallen illuminates how the struggle to produce, control, and consume light in the 18th and 19th centuries transformed slavery, industrial capitalism, and urban families in profound and often hidden ways. By telling the stories of whalers, enslaved turpentine makers, nearly enslaved children who manufactured matches, and night-working seamstresses, Zallen, assistant professor of history, argues how the revolution of artificial light was not one of modernity, but of conquest and barbarity.

Published by University of North Carolina Press, American Lucifers is set for release Oct. 14, 2019.

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