Escape from Texas: A Novel of Slavery and the Texas War of Independence

Escape from Texas: A Novel of Slavery and the Texas War of Independence

by James W. Russell

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In 1828 James, a slave, arrives in Texas, brought by his owner, Samuel Bingham. Texas is then a part of the Mexican state of Coahuila y Tejas. James comes to Texas because he has no choice. But once there, he finds a postrevolutionary country where slavery is on the way out and his freedom is a real possibility. His owner, though, is determined to take advantage of the low cost of land in Texas to build up a farm into a cotton plantation with the use of slave labor. Over the next nine years James will experience and participate in a series of wrenching events that marked the origins of the Lone Star State.

Set in the years surrounding the 1836 Texas War of Independence, ESCAPE FROM TEXAS is a solidly researched examination of the clashing aspirations of slaves, slave owners, Indians, and Mexicans during a turning point of the westward expansion of the United States.

While there are a number of novels set in this period of Texas history, ESCAPE FROM TEXAS is the only novel that has a slave as a key protagonist and incorporates prominently that point of view of the turbulent events. Its provocative underlying thesis is that the extension of slavery was the true underlying cause of the Texas War of Independence, not yearnings for freedom by the Texas frontiersmen, as American folklore has traditionally had it. ESCAPE FROM TEXAS is to the understanding of the Texas War of Independence as Howard Fast's FREEDOM ROAD was to the understanding of the post-Civil War period of Reconstruction.

From the prepublication reviews:
"A tantalizing, compelling, and learned look into an under-examined period of history that bridges the experiences of African-Americans, Mexicans, Afro-Mexicans, Native-Americans, and Anglo-Americans alike. Few other books have so keenly explored what border life may have been like in the years leading up to the Mexican-American War. Certainly, no novel has so astutely captured the mindset of black slaves and their complicated relationships with Mexico during this era. This is an unusual piece of fiction, both for its tight historical accuracy and the scope of its imagination. This is a gripping and wonderful narrative, packed with surprises, as well as new lessons in history.”

Product Details

BN ID: 2940014079549
Publisher: Sloan Publishing
Publication date: 01/30/2012
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 210
File size: 172 KB

About the Author

James W. Russell was born in New York and grew up in Oklahoma. He received a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Wisconsin and has taught at universities in San Francisco, Texas, Oregon, Mexico City, and Connecticut. Currently he teaches sociology and directs the Latin American Studies Program at Eastern Connecticut State University. From 1990 to 1992 he was a Fulbright Senior Lecturer and Researcher at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in Mexico City. In 2001 he served as a Fulbright Senior Specialist at Masaryk University in the Czech Republic.

He is the author of a number of articles in publications such as Monthly Review, The Nation and The Progressive and has written seven books including:

Class and Race Formation in North America (University of Toronto Press)

?"A critically important people's history of North America"?Dan Zuberi

Double Standard: Social Policy in Europe and the United States (Rowman and Littlefield)

?"A wonderful book: erudite and sophisticated, yet lucid and to the point"?Frances Fox Piven

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