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Closer to Freedom: Enslaved Women and Everyday Resistance in the Plantation South (Gender and American Culture) Paperback – September 13, 2004

11 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0807855348 ISBN-10: 0807855340 Edition: 1st PAPERBACK

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Closer to Freedom: Enslaved Women and Everyday Resistance in the Plantation South (Gender and American Culture) + Waiting 'Til the Midnight Hour: A Narrative History of Black Power in America + Assata: An Autobiography
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Sensitive, bold, and imaginative, Closer to Freedom is the first book to place black women at the center of everyday resistance to bondage." - Douglas R. Egerton, Le Moyne College"

Review

Very readable yet analytically sophisticated. . . . Camp seamlessly integrates a wide array of sources . . . into an engaging book that does more than recount women's experiences as slaves in the plantation South. . . . An excellent study of bondwomen and a penetrating look at the rival geographies created by enslaved people."-Journal of Southern History

|The author's attention to a 'spatial history of American slavery' reveals contests over physical space as a hitherto unappreciated dimension of the everyday politics of plantation life. This book skillfully brings into view clandestine pockets--ephemeral but resilient--in which slave women, in particular, struggled to sustain a 'rival geography' in which powers of mastery could be held at bay.--Julie Saville, University of Chicago

|Camp has written a provocative book full of astonishing, sometimes unforgettable moments. Moreover, she has raised important questions about the way slave women resisted their owners. Ultimately no one will be able to answer the questions that Camp asks without coming to grips with the world she describes.--Virginia Magazine of History and Biography

|This elegant and often profound monograph casts a fresh eye on the daily acts of self-preservation and disguised defiance that historians of slavery have called 'everyday resistance.' . . . Illuminating both the texture of enslaved women's lives and the concept of everyday resistance, Closer to Freedom is both a welcome teaching text and an accessible study for general readers.--North Carolina Historical Review

|Camp's creative and elegant work reinforces the interconnectedness of North and South, slave and free, in the lives of enslaved people.--Signs

|Deepens our understanding of resistance as both an individual and collective endeavor. [Camp] argues forcefully. . . . Intriguing and interesting.--The Journal of Interdisciplinary History

|An appealing and creative approach to understanding everyday slave resistance.--Southern Historian

|Through the lens of geography, Camp successfully introduces a new language to describe and interpret everyday resistance among enslaved women and men. Scholars interested in a different approach to this important topic will find Closer to Freedom refreshing.--Civil War History

|Wonderfully evocative. . . . A provocative book full of astonishing, sometimes unforgettable moments.--Virginia Magazine

|Stephanie Camp's brilliant study draws upon numerous fields of scholarship--feminist theory, anthropology, sociology--to produce an innovative reinterpretation of enslaved women in the plantation South. Sensitive, bold, and imaginative, Closer to Freedom is the first book to place black women at the center of everyday resistance to bondage.--Douglas R. Egerton, Le Moyne College

|This slim volume makes a substantial and often ingenious contribution to slavery studies and to women's and southern history. Taking pleasure seriously, studying space without getting trapped in the 'public versus private' debate, finding new information in much-mined sources, and complicating our knowledge of enslaved women's resistance are valuable in themselves. They are also potent hints at what Camp and those who follow her lead will accomplish in the coming years.--American Historical Review

|The book is well written throughout, and Camp really does seem to get inside the minds of enslaved women. . . . This is a promising first book and an interesting and innovative addition to the historiography of the lives of the enslaved.--Georgia Historical Quarterly

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Product Details

  • Series: Gender and American Culture
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press; 1st PAPERBACK edition (September 13, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807855340
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807855348
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #280,694 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By James Downs on May 20, 2011
Format: Paperback
Stephanie Camp recasts the history of antebellum slavery by paying close attention to the ways in which gender shaped ideas of resistance and defiance among enslaved women of the Old South. Paying particular attention to the daily lives of enslaved women, Camp unearths fascinating evidence about the ways in which bondwomen defied slavery by the way they dressed, organized their living spaces, and, in some cases, fled from chattel slavery. While historians, over the past few decades, have written about resistance among enslaved people, Camp smartly intervenes in this debate by investigating the ways in which geography and place shaped the possibilities available to enslaved women to resist the commodification of their bodies. And while this historiographical move positions Camp's study as a transformative study on the scholarly subject of resistance, her attention to detail, to place, and to the everyday experiences of enslaved people makes her book one of the most valuable narratives to engage the human and lived experience of enslavement; and its for this reason that I continue to assign Closer to Freedom to my undergraduates--who continually walk away from a discussion of the book, knowing more about slavery and thinking more intelligently about the meaning of resistance.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Greg Downs on May 20, 2011
Format: Paperback
Closer to Freedom is a breakthrough work that changed the way historians of slavery think about gender, resistance, space, and bodies. Camp sketches out the way that women responded to and at times resisted the demands of slavery, breaking from the image of the runaway man and the left-behind woman. In well-drawn sections on women who go truant or absent themselves from the plantation to hide in swamps and forests for a time, Camp explores the way enslaved women tried to create space for themselves. A book that builds upon and extends the pathbreaking Ar'n't I A Woman, Too? by Deborah Gray White, and one of the key works that changed the discussions of gender and slavery.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dana Camp-Farber on May 22, 2011
Format: Paperback
This tome pulls back the curtain on apart of US history that has not been revealed. Stephanie spent lots of time combing archives to compile this volume. She has peeled back the cover on unexplored stories about slavery from the women's point of view. As she continues to explore this area of history, she is contributing to our knowledge of US history during slavery as well as providing a place for the voices of our female ancestors. Thanks for this work, Stephanie! Keep them coming!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jason on April 13, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Absolutely wonderful book with extensive research and beautifully written. Camp is a treasure to the field of American Slavery History.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kimberly Camp on May 21, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent read about an important topic to often ignored in our nation. its content is made even more important now, when the history of the nation is being corrupted by fantasy and not facts. The author is a talented storyteller who brings a poignant message rfom which we can all learn to be more aware and engaged in standing tall.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An excellent work that gives substance and depth to the experience of slavery from the perspective, especially, of enslaved African women. Professor Camp's work discloses features of slavery and southern society that normally are not made explicit - humanising the enslaved in the process and connecting their efforts to the dramatic events following the Civil War.
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