From Publishers Weekly
Long before there was a United States, Africans were present in what would become American history. In very condensed form, Duke University historian Wood follows Africans, from those who traveled with the early Spanish explorers to those who fought in the early years of the American Revolution. He illuminates how differences among the colonies, between North and South America, and among European powers affected the Africans' experience, including their differing relations with the Native American population and the diversity of the Africans themselves. With deft strokes, Wood provides a political milieu and a broad international context, such as the effects of the Great Fire of London in 1666 and the Paris Treaty of 1762. As succinctly, he provides a vivid sense of African daily life-the acquisition of new languages, hairstyling, food, music, religion-and the effect that had on America. There are no new revelations on the order of Wood's Black Majority: Negroes in Colonial South Carolina from 1670 through the Stono Rebellion, but Wood here offers a splendid synthesis of recent research for a lay reader's edification and , despite often horrific events, pleasure; the scholarly foundation upon which the book rests is hidden under its simple, straightforward and graceful style. This is an amazing "little" book, a really masterful distillation.
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"Wood offers a splendid synthesis of recent research for a lay reader's edification and, despite often horrific events, pleasure; the scholarly foundation upon which the book rests is hidden under its simple, straight-forward and graceful style. This is an amazing 'little' book, a really masterful distillation." --Publishers Weekly
"While his selection of facts and figures is illuminating throughout, what makes the work a particular pleasure are Wood's inspired discussions; he ably links facts and puts them into larger contexts for readers. An obscure chapter in American history, rendered vividly."--Kirkus Reviews
"Charts the arrival of blacks to this country between 1617-1776, exploring the earliest Africans in this country and their attempts to retain and rebuild a new culture in a strange land."--Children's Bookwatch
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