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Final volume of a trilogy
on August 16, 2015
This is the third book of the author's trilogy on slavery's history leading to emancipation. I read the first volume of that trilogy, The Problem of Slavery in Western Culture, on 5 April 2001, because it won the Pulitzer prize for nonfiction in 1967. I have never read the second volume but this volume, entitled The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation, won the National Book Critics Circle prize in 2014 and so I read it. It is only the 14th such winner I've read (out of 39 winners), The author spends a lot of time discussing the question of what should be the situation if the slaves in the U.S. were free, with some who were against slavery saying the freed should be sent to Africa--the racist mindset of such colonists being clear that they did not want the freed slaves in this country even though though they were born here. While some were sent to Liberia that was never the preference of the slaves themselves and gradually the abolitionists came to see that colonization was the preference of the racist-minded. The closing chapters of the book were of greater interest to me, since they culminate of course in emancipation--which the author says would not have happened without war because slavery was profitable for the slaveholders. This is a carefully-researched book full of evidence of the results of long years of study.