American Slavery: 1619-1877

( 1 )

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 ...

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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.

A striking new interpretation of the "peculiar institution" that deformed American history from colonial times to our own is to be found in this informed, modern history of slavery and development. Kolchin's exploration of the slave experience displays a subtlety missing from earlier accounts.

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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.)
Booknews
In this study the unusually broad chronological perspective begins with the colonial years and ranges through emancipation and the aftermath of the Civil War. The geographic perspective is also broad, and understanding of American slavery in the context of slavery elsewhere is a stimulus for the author's fresh interpretations of the American phenomenon and of African American culture and experience. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780809016303
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 9/28/2003
  • Edition description: Revised and Updated
  • Edition number: 10
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 253,122
  • 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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Table of Contents

Preface
Preface to the Revised Edition
1 Origins and Consolidation 3
2 The Colonial Era 28
3 The American Revolution 63
4 Antebellum Slavery: Organization, Control, Paternalism 93
5 Antebellum Slavery: Slave Life 133
6 The White South: Society, Economy, Ideology 169
7 The End of Slavery 200
Afterword 239
App.: Statistical Tables 251
Notes 259
Bibliographical Essay 269
Index 317
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2014

    I am a high school sophomore and I have to write this review for

    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.

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