Sons of Providence : The Brown Brothers, the Slave Trade, and the American Revolution by Charles Rappleye has been getting some positive reviews here in Rhode Island and is also garnering some critical acclaim nationwide. This past weekend, Rappleye was interviewed on a local TV station. (Incidentally, his brother--Bill-- is the political reporter for the same station, a fact they made clear).
One important point Rappleye brought up is how much slavery was accepted at the time as just being a normal state of things. The most interesting observation he made was that slaves were the equivalent of oil today: slave power was the back bone of not only the American economy but also the economies of the European powers of the day.