American Slavery: 1619-1877
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American Slavery: 1619-1877

2.7 3
by Peter Kolchin
     
 

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The single best short survey in America, now updated.
Includes a New Preface and Afterward

In terms of accessibility and comprehensive coverage, Kolchin's American Slavery is a singularly important achievement. Now updated to address a decade of new scholarship, the book includes a new preface, afterword, and revised and expanded bibliographic

Overview

The single best short survey in America, now updated.
Includes a New Preface and Afterward

In terms of accessibility and comprehensive coverage, Kolchin's American Slavery is a singularly important achievement. Now updated to address a decade of new scholarship, the book includes a new preface, afterword, and revised and expanded bibliographic essay. It remains the best book to introduce a subject of profound and lasting importance, one that lies at the center of American history.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“A miraculous achievement . . . A concise, well-written, and sensibly argued survey of America's greatest shame.” —The New Yorker

“Peter Kolchin's American Slavery is the best history of the 'peculiar institution' that I have ever read. Paying equal attention to the slaves and the slaveholders, it is both comprehensive and fair-minded. A master of comparative history, Kolchin brilliantly shows how American slavery was similar to, and at the same time different from, forced labor in Brazil, the Caribbean, and Russia. His splendid bibliographical essay is an indispensable guide to the vast and complex literature on slavery.” —David Herbert Donald, Charles Warren Professor of American History Emeritus, Harvard University

“This is a brilliant and masterful synthesis of scholarship on the history of slavery in America. Kolchin not only pulls together all the relevant literature but also strikes out with his own perceptive and trenchant analyses.” —August Meier, Kent State University

“A feast of deftly crafted interpretations of the many interrelated dimensions of a most complex institution that shaped and deeply scarred American society. Kolchin's masterful survey is by far the best I have seen. It will be hard to surpass.” —David Barry Gaspar, Duke University

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this readable synthesis of scholarship, University of Delaware history professor Kolchin takes a judicious view of historians' controversies surrounding this topic. Kolchin ( Unfree Labor: American Slavery and Russian Serfdom ) offers a good narrative account of American slavery, but the book is most useful for his historiographical navigation. While some scholars have argued that slaves quickly abandoned African ways, and others maintain that slave culture was strongly African, Kolchin disputes this dichotomy, describing instead the development of a unique African American culture. Likewise, Kolchin sees the validity of studies that have focused on slaves as victims as well as more recent work emphasizing their resiliency. With perspective drawn from his research into the end of slavery in other countries, Kolchin stresses that Reconstruction, once seen by scholars as cruel to Southern whites and more recently as insufficiently revolutionary, was in fact ``an extraordinary departure'' that took control of the mechanics of emancipation away from the former masters. (Aug.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780809016303
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
09/28/2003
Edition description:
Revised and Updated
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
324,662
Product dimensions:
5.46(w) x 8.17(h) x 0.97(d)

Meet the Author

Peter Kolchin, the Henry Clay Reed Professor of History at the University of Delaware, is the author of numerous books, most recently A Sphinx on the American Land: The Nineteenth Century South in Comparative Perspective (2003).

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American Slavery 1619-1877 : Aniversary Edition 2.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous 10 months ago
I am a high school softmore who used this book for my research project. I recommend this book to anyone although it was boring to but whoever needs a better understanding and willing to learn American slavery. This book had so much history and was hard too understand. Although this book is long and doesn't really get to the point right away because its just all history facts. One part that interested me was they way women were treated in terrible ways. The other part also was the way they still did culture rituals with dancing, music, folklore arts, and also with medicine even if there were enslaved. The author Peter Kolchin was brilliant organized with they way he discussed the daily lives of slaves, type of slaves, and the way it all ended in the late eighteenth century. I got a deeper understanding of slavery and its just not that they plantation and house slavery. The first sentence of the book had already so much history into. This book answered all my questions about slavery and I didn't use any other resources for my project.
Bespinoza 10 months ago
I am a high school sophomore who read this book for an English project. I thought this book had excessive detail and was very confusing. It helped to answer all of my questions, but it was a difficult read and hard to understand. Since it had much detail, i thought it was very boring and it took me a while to read. I learned many new facts about these slaves and their lifestyle. It took me a while to understand what the book was talking about which made me read it over, but once i got it i found its information useful. The author, Peter Kolchin has many different ideas and arguments which is very helpful. His purpose is to let the readers know all the hardships, pain, and cruelty these individuals went through. This is a very good book especially if you love the topic American Slavery. I encourage this book to be read if you are looking for a good read about Slavery with tons of information.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a high school sophomore and I have to write this review for my research project for my English class. This book was boring but it answers almost all your questions about slavery in America. The author Peter Kolchin explains to you the daily lives of slaves and what they have to go through and also how it started. He does this in a very interesting way. This book is history based so if that's not your interest than I don't recommend this book. It helped me answer most of my research questions for my project.