From Homicide to Slavery: Studies in American Culture

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For more than twenty years David Brion Davis has been recognized as a leading authority on the moral and ideological responses to slavery in the Western world. From Homicide to Slavery, Davis's first book of collected essays, brings together selections reflecting his wide-ranging interests in colonial history, Afro-American history, the social sciences, and American literature. The essays are interconnected by Davis's central concern with violence, irrationality, and the definition of moral limits during a ...
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Overview


For more than twenty years David Brion Davis has been recognized as a leading authority on the moral and ideological responses to slavery in the Western world. From Homicide to Slavery, Davis's first book of collected essays, brings together selections reflecting his wide-ranging interests in colonial history, Afro-American history, the social sciences, and American literature. The essays are interconnected by Davis's central concern with violence, irrationality, and the definition of moral limits during a period when Americans believed they were breaking free from historical constraints and acquiring new powers of self-perfection. Topics range from a socially revealing murder trial in 1843 to debates over capital punishment, movements of counter-subverison, the iconography of race, the cowboy as an American hero, the portrayal of violence in American literature, the historiography of slavery, and the British and American antislavery movements.

"The outstanding historian of the dark underside of Western culture... ."--Journal of American History.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195040890
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 11/1/1986
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.38 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

I. Violence and Virility in American Culture
1. Murder in New Hampshire 3
2. The Movement To Abolish Capital Punishment in America, 1787-1861 17
3. Violence in American Literature 41
4. Stress-Seeking and the Self-Made Man in American Literature, 1894-1914 52
II. The Redeeming West
5. Ten-Gallon Hero 75
6. The Deerslayer, A Democratic Knight of the Wilderness: Cooper, 1841 90
7. Marlboro Country 104
8. Secrets of the Mormons 113
III. Problems of Loyalty and Identity
9. Patricide and Regicide 127
10. Some Themes of Counter-Subversion: An Analysis of Anti-Masonic, Anti-Catholic, and Anti-Mormon Literature 137
11. Some Ideological Functions of Prejudice in Ante-Bellum America 155
12. The American Family and Boundaries in Historical Perspective 166
IV. Studies in Slavery and Antislavery
13. Slavery, and the Post-World War II Historians 187
14. Of Human Bondage 207
15. Out of the Shadows 218
16. New Sidelights on Early Antislavery Radicalism 228
17. The Emergence of Immediatism in British and American Antislavery Thought 238
18. James Cropper and the British Anti-Slavery Movement
I 1821-23 258
II 1823-33 273
19. American Slavery and the American Revolution 290
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