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on December 23, 2006
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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on September 9, 2006
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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on June 5, 2009
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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on February 2, 2014
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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on April 6, 2015
This is a good book. However, the earlier volume "The Birth of Black America" by the same author, is a better read with much more information and is more detailed. "Children of Perdition" covers more the discriminations and atrocities visited upon these mixed-race peoples than detailing their backgrounds (although it does that, too). It's a bit repetitious, especially near the end. Still, it is well-researched.
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on November 30, 2015
Was exactly as stated, prompt delivery, no issues. Would buy from seller again.
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on May 15, 2016
Struggle to read. Writing has no flow. Half way through and shelved it.
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on February 3, 2016
Came in great condition and a great price
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on September 29, 2015
As a direct descendant of the Revolutionary War veteran Drury Going who died in South Carolina in 1796, I must admonish that the author purports the Drury Going, mentioned on page 38 of his book, to be the same as my ancestor and furthermore that he was a Melungeon. As an active genealogist for more than thirty years, I know of no documentation proving this claim---and furthermore the author provides none such documentation either. Hashaw cites an online article titled "Brunswick County, Virginia" (posted by the Gowen Research Foundation) as his source of information about Drury Going, but he ignored certain discrepancies and differences of opinion regarding Drury Going within that same article, stating some details as factual when in essence there is no mention of any primary sources to back up his claims. He does mention (in a roundabout way) as a secondary source the late author Mary Elizabeth Motley Beadles whose 1974 book "A Bicentennial History of Eleven Pioneer Families" claimed all sorts of facts about my Drury. However, when I interviewed her, Mrs. Beadles could not name one single primary source as her documentation, admitting that she relied on hearsay for the basis of her chapter on the Drury Going family. Any author worth his salt would not rely strictly on secondary sources but instead track down original papers substantiating his claims. Other information in his book may be accurate, but I could not let this opportunity pass without acknowledging his grave error in this instance.
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on January 28, 2014
The plight of Melungeons with no convenient understanding of their American-born story has always caused a great deal of discussion in several states just east of the Mississippi. This book includes the known part that their origin may never be known, but it also expands their story to include the free blacks and Native Americans who were accepted and bred into their confusing lineage. This, no any book, can answer all questions, but it does explain many of the facets of American backgrounds and the prejudices they have breed.
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