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Out of the House of Bondage: The Transformation of the Plantation Household Paperback – September 18, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0521703987 ISBN-10: 0521703980 Edition: First Edition (US) First Printing
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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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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: 6.1 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #270,371 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 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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7 of 7 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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12 of 17 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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