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The World They Made Together: Black and White Values in Eighteenth-Century Virginia Paperback – October 1, 1989

ISBN-13: 978-0691006086 ISBN-10: 0691006083 Edition: Reprint

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 388 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press; Reprint edition (October 1, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691006083
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691006086
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #622,211 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Ms. Sobel's book is a work of great importance, and not only to the scholars who will be its primary audience. . . . Ms. Sobel's assertion that--as C. Vann Woodward once put it--black and white southerners 'shared and molded a common culture' represents a bold departure from recent trends. . . . A stunning reinterpretation of colonial Virginia's culture."--Jan Lewis, New York Times Book Review

"The trend in modern studies of slavery has been . . . to emphasize the survival of the African heritage and the autonomy of black culture even under slavery. Sobel takes the trend a step further in contending that attitudes and casts of mind carried from Africa penetrated and altered the dominant English culture. . . . Most significantly Sobel finds black and white patters of religious experience meshing and merging in the evangelical denominations that swept up lower- and middle-class Virginians in the last half of the eighteenth century."--Edmund S. Morgan, New York Review of Books

"Mechal Sobel offers a revisionist look at the culture of the American South before 1800. Her approach presents a perspective on the South not found in comprehensive general histories. . . . In chapters woven with anecdotes, Sobel describes striking similarities and peculiar difference in the ways black and working class white Virginians spent their days, how they worshiped, where they lived, and how they saw themselves in relation to the rest of the world."--Mary Tabor, Christian Science Monitor

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By ggcon on May 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
Sobel uses the concept of "world views" to support her argument that although the English and the different cultures in West Africa had separate world views, the close interaction between 18th-century Virginian whites and blacks resulted in these separate world views deeply influencing each other. In the 18th century, black and white children played together, white children often had a black woman as a "surrogate mother", and blacks and whites often worshipped together. This close interaction reinforced perceptions, values, and identities (world views) that were common between the two world view systems and, with time, the differences between the world views resulted in each world view being influenced by the other until they developed a symbiotic relationship.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Dragonslayer on February 6, 2002
Format: Paperback
Substantially, I agree with the other reviewer. Sobel argues successfully that there existed in the South (at any rate in Virginia) during the Antebellum period a culture that displayed African influences, and that these influences were visible not just among blacks but among whites, who increasingly were raised by slaves, learned to walk and talk from slaves, and in some cases were unable to function emotionally or physically without slaves.
What's missing from the picture is the abuse and cruelty inherent to the slave system. And, one could argue, appropriately: it's not what the book is about. My concern would be that if this were the *only* book one read about the Antebellum South, one could emerge with a skewed picture.
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