Slavery and Human Progress

Slavery and Human Progress

by David Brion Davis
     
 

Pulitzer Prize-winner David Brion Davis here provides a penetrating survey of slavery and emancipation throughout world history--from ancient times to the 20th century. He demonstrates that slavery, once regarded as a form of human progress, played a crucial part in the expansion of the Western world, and that not until the 18th and 19th centuries did views of

Overview

Pulitzer Prize-winner David Brion Davis here provides a penetrating survey of slavery and emancipation throughout world history--from ancient times to the 20th century. He demonstrates that slavery, once regarded as a form of human progress, played a crucial part in the expansion of the Western world, and that not until the 18th and 19th centuries did views of slavery as a retrograde institution gain far-reaching acceptance.

Illuminating this momentous historical shift from "progressive" slavery to "progressive" emancipation, Davis ranges over a wide array of important developments--from the transition from white to black slavery, to the impact of the Civil War and the Emancipation Proclamation, to 20th-century debates about slavery in the League of Nations and the U.N. He probes the intricate connections among slavery, emancipation, and the idea of progress, shedding new light on two crucial issues--the human capacity for dignifying acts of oppression and the problems of implementing social change--and placing the most recent international debate about freedom and human rights into much-needed perspective.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A work of breath-taking erudition that is also a model of clarity and good sense. [Davis] surveys more than a thousand years of slavery and antislavery in a way that is fresh and revealing even for those who are familiar with...the subject."—George M. Fredrickson, Stanford University.

"[Davis's] superior literary ability enables him to cover a great deal of ground in tight smooth prose...the best introduction we have to the extent and significance of slavery in the history of the Western world."—The Atlantic.

"A work of awesome intellectual depth and range. Provocative, probing, and powerful...ranks among the most important studies of slavery."—Library Journal.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195034394
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
10/01/1984
Pages:
400
Product dimensions:
6.44(w) x 9.50(h) x 1.38(d)

Meet the Author

Yale University

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