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Inhuman Bondage: The Rise and Fall of Slavery in the New World
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Top Customer Reviews
An earlier reviewer, while acknowledging how "glorious" this book is, complained of digressions. But where that reader saw detours, I found electrifying connections and illuminating comparisons. To survey history is to digress, because there is always more than one thing going on at a time, always more than one current steering events.
Slavery is not a pleasant subject, but it is as important to American history as any subject could be. Here we have the book that allows every sincere reader to acquire a broad understanding of this sordid, crucial story.
I rarely pay much attention to blurbs on the back of a book. But the testimonial to this book by Harvard sociologist Orlando Patterson bears repeating, because it is exactly right. This is a "gracefully fashioned masterpiece ... simply indispensable ... the glorious culmination of the definitive series of studies on slavery by one of America's greatest living historians."
This book is a must read for those non-academics who want to have a better understanding of slavery in America and the Americas. The sexual exploitation and psychological impact of slavery is generally known. This book, however, allows one to get the full picture of slavery from a global, economic and political perspective. There is nothing better for a painful subject like this than finding a reliable (well documented) and easy to read source by a respected author.
A great gift for your friends, no matter what race!
Unfortunately, it reads like a choppy college lecture, with the flow of material marred oftentimes by the circular exploration of material. A topic may be introduced, then discussed in depth later and then reintroduced for concluding remarks many pages later.
Davis utilizes numerous resources from contemporary historians and it is appreciated that he introduces the author and the work to the reader while quoting from the material.
Inhuman Bondage is an important work in the growing number of books covering the sordid past that has been "conveniently" ignored or flippantly tossed aside in past historical writings.
By coming to terms with the past and acknowledging the damage it has done is the only way the words from Davis and others will truly have full meaning.
Do not be afraid of the academic founding of this book. It is thought provoking, enlightening, challenging, and the passion of the author is evident. I have traveled a great deal around the world and the issue of poverty, especially extreme poverty, and slavery straddles a fine line. When a person, child or adult, is desperate for food, shelter, and a future it is very easy for them to be taken advantage of and placed in bondage and potentially in slavery.
One of the key actions in this book is to define slavery and one definition stood out remarkably to me - "denial of a social identity". Removing a person's "social identity" denies that person human rights - such as the untouchables in India- denies them a voice in "democratic" countries - such as women who have no freedom without the presence of a male relative or the right to vote; denies them a place in society in order to obtain a job, build a home, have a family, and travel freely - as happened in the economically and politically motivated Apartheid of the United States and South Africa (that only came to a legal end in SA in 1994).
Denial of Social Identity is only one aspect of the many nuances of slavery. The author also separates slavery from racism. It is possible to be racist without the presence of slavery, but slavery, or the history of a race can have an enormous impact on how they are perceived in a specific society or cultural group.
The author explores these nuances and links the past with the present and on into the future.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A very scholarly book with many interesting citations which kept me constantly turning to the back of the book for more information. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Starbright
As a layperson, I found this book to be a good balance of thorough and detail-oriented while also remaining very readable with a compelling narrative arc. Read morePublished 5 months ago by abalah?
If you want to know the history of chattel slavery, and its eventual destruction in the Caribbean and the US, Inhuman Bondage is the book for you. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
Davis shows great narrative skills, making it hard to put down.Published 11 months ago by C. Harrison
Excellent, beautifully written, I learned a great deal I had not known beforePublished 12 months ago by Emmy Norris
A bit long - but a real look at slavery - all the way back to BCPublished 14 months ago by Dolores deWaal
Celia, d. 1855, was a 19-year old human being in bondage, a slave, who was raped multiple times by her "owner" before she lashed out and murdered him. Read morePublished 15 months ago by AR