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Children of Perdition: Melungeons and the Struggle of Mixed America Paperback – March 30, 2007

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Children of Perdition: Melungeons and the Struggle of Mixed America + The Melungeons: The Resurrection of a Proud People + Walking Toward the Sunset: The Melungeons of Appalachia (Melungeons: History, Culture, Ethnicity, & Literature)
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Product Details

  • Series: Melungeons
  • Paperback: 182 pages
  • Publisher: Mercer Univ Pr (March 30, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0881460745
  • ISBN-13: 978-0881460742
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #907,588 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

68 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Curtis Christy on December 23, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I am a Melungeon descendant who formerly wrote a column on the topic in a history journal. I wrote an extensive review with some context for my remarks for Amazon, but it was refused. I rewrote it and it was still refused. From the point-of-view of those who have already read a great deal on the subject, and from the point-of-view of those involved in discussions about Melungeons (for whom this may be their first book on the topic), a contextual review would be helpful. This book does away with much of the conjecture and folklore, and helps to eliminate many of the more bizarre origin stories that some would rather believe than the truth about how the Melungeons came to be. Melungeons are a uniquely American people, created out of the raw materials of people who were already here before colonization, colonists, those the colonists brought with them as servants, and those the colonists bartered-for or purchased as laborers ... before the days of chattel slavery. Hashaw's book lays the foundation for a rational discussion of the topic ... and is the first book to do so. It is, therefore, a breakthrough in a rational discussion of Melungeon origins.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on September 9, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Children Of Perdition: Melungeons And The Struggle Of Mixed America by award winning investigative journalist Tim Hashaw is the history of mixed-race communities in America during the 300 years in which marriage between whites and nonwhites was outlawed. Melungeons, often called "children of perdition" by both whites and blacks, ranked socially below communities of freed slaves even though they had lighter skin. Persecution of melungeons included imprisonment, whipping, slavery, lunching, gun battles, forced sterilization, and exile, yet they persevered and preserved folk tales. Even in the twentieth century, there were various American schemes to forcibly exile US citizens with as little as "one drop" of black blood to Africa. In addition to tracing history, Children Of Perdition delves into psychology and the development of racism both historical and modern, as well as the practices of scapegoating, racial politics, and the impact of World War II and the Nazis. Highly recommended as both history and ancient and modern social commentary.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Gena on June 5, 2009
Format: Paperback
Children of Perdition: Melungeons and the Struggle of Mixed America
This is an absolutely fabulous read!! I knew a bit about the Melungeons from SW Virginia and from other reading but this book filled in some of the gaps about them and their relation to other similar groups in the US. Especially interesting to me is the history of eugenics and the terrible influence our own American laws had on the Nazis in the 1930's and '40s as the Germans largely seem to have adopted their laws from those of the Commonwealth of Virginia. It is a dreadful scar on American history and is one that seems not to have gotten much attention in other literature. I highly recommend this book, especially to history and genealogy buffs.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Susan J Bakshi on February 2, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Informative about the history of Melungeons in the US, however, most of the factual information that I was interested in is in the first few chapters. The rest of the book has examples of how they were isolated and denied privileges because they did not fit into any of the cultural groups which functioned in America. Enlightening to know how the mechanisms of prejudice work, but I was after more documentation of origins.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dust2b, JD on July 26, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A bit dry for the general reader but lots of information about the Melungeon people who are so little known and understood. Recommended.
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