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The Manor: Three Centuries at a Slave Plantation on Long Island Hardcover – July 2, 2013
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“Griswold's deft unpacking of the Sylvester Manor mystery reveals the uncomfortable, complicated history they left behind....[A] precise, beautiful book...Haunting.” ―The Boston Globe
“Extraordinary...This is an important book, for it is not just about a house. It is about the world and the destruction we have caused in it, all for the sake of making that place called home.” ―Jamaica Kincaid
“History buffs will love The Manor, and it tells a story that needs to be told....[The house is] a remarkable relic of American history.” ―The Washington Post
“Griswold skillfully weaves a historical tapestry of considerable complexity.” ―Women's Wear Daily
“A lively history of early American settlement...Like that Pulitzer Prize-winning work [The Hemingses of Monticello], The Manor is American history tightly compressed.” ―The Atlantic Wire
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Top Customer Reviews
I also gained a lot of insight into early Amsterdam, where Nathaniel grew up, and was moved by her description of early slave trading. She also was vivid in her descriptions of what daily life was like for a family living on their own plantation island with only slaves, Indians and occasional visitors, such as Mary Dyer and George Fox, the founder of the Quakers. I expect to read this book again and again.
Griswold's own experiences while writing The Manor unfold throughout the book, augmenting the primary narrative and at times providing a temporary (welcome) haven for the reader. The beauty of this historic landscape itself, through the years and seasons, also offers solace.
Beyond the narrative itself, Griswold has captured the larger dichotomies brilliantly. So much of what is so seriously flawed in today's economic, political, and ecological human systems -- as well as the seeds of so much that is beautiful and good in American culture -- grew out of Early Modern European capitalism and the (Dutch) triangular trade. It's that portion of The Manor's legacy that all of us have inherited.
I'm sharing this book with friends (and maybe a friend's book group?) as essential reading.
But I love history and had never studied New York before. A wonderful introduction. The author is an amazing researcher and writer. I even read "Sylvester Manor Time Line", her "Notes", studied "Bibliography" and "Acknowledgents" at the back of the book; my hesitation for the book to end.
The last three pages of the history; 317, 318 and 319; brought chills and tears to learn that the "Manor" is still being well taken care of. Nathaniel and Grizzell, wherever they are watching from, are sure to be very, very proud of their extended family.
This is a story written in narrative; conversations are not necessary. Good luck to Mac.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A monumental achievement. Every one should read about slavery on Long Island and the persecution of the Quakers. A gripping history.Published 13 months ago by mary m. cromwell
Maybe trying to weave landscape history, historical documentation, oral history/fiction and myth together with archaeological data was a bit too much to tackle in one sitting. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Blue Sky
Great book about a place and circumstance of American History that has very much been overlooked by the rest of us.Published 15 months ago by bondguy1824
A BOOK WELL WORTH READING AND INFORMATIVE . WELL RESEARCHED AND WRITTEN---JIMPublished 17 months ago by james l morrison