Many who study colonialism have noted that the same words used by the colonizer to describe the colonized—“dirty,” “backward,” “uncultured,” and “possessing an improper understanding of the value of work and property”—were often identical to those that rich people used to describe the poor. They were the terms the “modern” used to describe the “not yet modern”; the urban the rural; the educated the uneducated. To use a British example: Those who wrote from positions of power (the urban, educated bourgeoisie) looked down upon, first, the urban poor, then the rural poor, then the Scottish, then the “half-civilized” Natives of North America; then, finally, they squinted from on high upon the Aborigines of Australia. All of these groups fell short of the “norm,” the way the colonizer understood the very height of modern progress. All of these groups were “lacking” something. Thus, in sometimes surprising ways, colonialism merely seems to be another manifestation of the exertion of power over the powerless, a relationship much closer to that of “class” than many expect. This is especially so in a field that produces much of the best work in cultural history, and where anything hinting at old-fashioned “labor history” is gauche (no pun intended). Yet, as the authors of the books under review argue, understandings of labor and property, and the manner with which they are tied to an understanding of nature, are more fundamental to the history of modern colonialism than, for example, race, the latter a category almost always invoked by the colonizer in a completely instrumental fashion.