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Out of the House of Bondage: The Transformation of the Plantation Household Paperback – June 30, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0521703987 ISBN-10: 0521703980 Edition: First Edition (US) First Printing

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Out of the House of Bondage: The Transformation of the Plantation Household + Major Problems in African American History, Vol. 1: From Slavery to Freedom, 1619-1877- Documents and Essays + The African-American Odyssey, Volume 1 (6th Edition)
Price for all three: $237.30

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; First Edition (US) First Printing edition (June 30, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521703980
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521703987
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #163,309 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"The intellectually sophisticated and analytically acute Thavolia Glymph compels serious reconsideration of the transition in the relations of southern black and white women. Sensitive to the painful circumstances of both, she illuminates the political dimension of their daily interaction." -Eugene D. Genovese, author of Roll, Jordan, Roll and Mind of the Mater Class, with Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, Cambridge University Press, 2005

"Combining the tools of an economic and social historian with a flair for robust cross-examination of historical sources, Thavolia Glymph has fashioned a study of women in the plantation household into a sweeping reinterpretation of the post-slavery South." -Barbara J. Fields, Columbia University

"Professor Glymph makes a powerful argument about relationships between black and white women in the slaveholding South. She explores the systematic, often brutal, use of violence by women of the planter elite against enslaved women and demolishes the idea that some form of gender solidarity trumped race and class in plantation households. This important book should find an appreciative audience among readers interested in African American, southern, women's, and Civil War-era history." -Gary W. Gallagher, John L. Nau III Professor of History, University of Virginia

"...this book is a significant contribution to the history of women, African Americans, and the larger social and economic transformation of the mid-19th century. Highly recommended." -Choice

"...Glymph has provided a new canvas for classic questions of enslavement, emancipation, and domestic spaces." -Jessica Millward, Journal of American History

"...a provocative and very well-written analysis of gender in the South before and after the Civil War. Glymph's prose is incisively written and framed within a rich historiographical context." -Jim Downs, Civil War Book Review

"Out of the House of Bondage presents a theoretically sophisticated, tightly argued challenge to the existing scholarship on black and white women in the nineteenth century South." -Frank Towers, Labour/Le Travail

Book Description

This book views the plantation household as a site of production where competing visions of gender were wielded as weapons in class struggles between black and white women. Mistresses were powerful beings in the hierarchy of slavery, and Glymph challenges previous depictions of mistresses as "friends" and "allies" of slaves.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Alex Novelli on May 3, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is great at what it does. It is a thoroughly academic examination of the roles of women in the slave and reconstruction south. If one is interested in this topic, it is a great read, but the title is very confusing, and the subject matter is narrow. It requires a good amount of historical understanding to really appreciate Glymph's scholarship, but if one has an interest in the topic and the necessary contextual understanding it is well worth the read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Thomas W. Robinson on February 9, 2013
Format: Paperback
In this well written and thoroughly researched volume, Glymph argues that the terms "public" and "private" are not accurate enough to define how the plantation household changed or to describe the gendered ideology of the South. Instead, the author contends, the management of labor became the driving force in households. Furthermore, the very nature of what constituted a household changed as the Civil War was fought and slaves were emancipated. Perhaps the greatest accomplishment of this book, though, is Glymph's persuasive attempt to challenge the myth of the antebellum southern plantation mistress and house servant. And that is the beauty of Glymph's work. One does feel as though they get a picture of women in the plantation household, not just white women or black women, but both.
Glymph argues early in the book that too many historians have not given a complete analysis of the plantation mistress, the power she wielded, the violence she meted out, and the role she played in enforcing slavery. As Glymph points out, it was the plantation mistress who had day-to-day contact with slaves whereas the male master may not. Because Glymph uses sources from both white and black women, it gives a fuller picture of the antebellum household. The post-war South saw white women entering the market as employers, but, Glymph argues, it was black women who had more experience in negotiating wages. Furthermore, black men and women began to use public displays such as parades and celebrations to celebrate their freedom, which unnerved white women. Perhaps the chief accomplishment of Glymph's work is to raise questions about relationship of black and white women after emancipation and what it means in terms of freedom in the post-war South.
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10 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Donna VINE VOICE on September 23, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Written by a famous Duke University professor in African and African American studies. I loved "The Help" and its topic and wanted to learn more. I heard this Professor on CSPAN and searched out her writings. The book is not a fanciful novel and I'm sure it's for university course use. Still, it's a very readable book. It's factually accurate without the cherries on top to get a movie option/deal.

If you are serious about this subject, that being, the real "Plantation" living and treatment of "the help" and more, than this book is highly recommended.
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful By April04 on April 24, 2013
Format: Paperback
This book must be commended for its highly thorough research and impressive use of sources. It covers a little-known aspect of slavery: the relationship between white slave-owning women and their female slaves. This is a fascinating topic and Glymph does it justice. However, the book is extremely dense and often difficult to get through. For the average person (as in, someone who is not a scholar but is merely looking for an interesting read), the book's message is at times obscured by copious footnotes and often highly repetitive examples. If you can struggle through the density, you will learn a lot, otherwise the book might prove a bit exhausting.
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3 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Alexis Danielle on April 28, 2013
Format: Paperback
This book's topic of plantation wives and their relations with slaves is undoubtedly necessary to dialogue about. However, the author leaves little room for scholars to have a dialogue with her work. Although the personal accounts from plantation owners or their slaves were rare and intriguing, especially to a scholar, it did little for book. It's a dense read, with all of the footnotes at the bottom of the page. It's tough getting through one page when you have to keep looking up and down a page. Even if you ignore the footnotes, you will lose a critical piece of understanding. If you're looking for a strict and objective piece that provides more than a peer-reviewed article would, this is the book for you. However, that makes it difficult to even teach in prestigious college classrooms where students are looking to engage with the information. The author doesn't seem to explore the topic, but just regurgitate facts about the topic. Out of the House of Bondage is a very specific book for a very specific audience.
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