- Unknown Binding
- Publisher: Oxford University Press (2004)
- ASIN: B003HFAE9C
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
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Slavery and the Making of America Unknown Binding – 2004
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The stories of slave holding has been told many times, from the movies like Uncle Tom's Cabin, to Roots, to Ken Burns series The Civil War. This book brings a concise overall view to slavery and seems to draw on a wealth of original schlorship. The photographs are not those commonly seen in such histories.
This book covers more of the slave rebellions than most. The famous incidents like the Dred Scott case, the Harpers Ferry raid of John Brown and so on are covered, but so are rebellions of a smaller and much less well known nature. Some of the slaves brought to the US had been military leaders in Africa. They had the martial thoughts and training to forment true rebellion of a type that absolutely terrified the Southern slave owners.
The book basically ends at the end of the Civil War when slavery as a legal institution ended. The story of the continuing African American struggles to find equality belong in other books.
One final thought. Slavery existed in the South because of cotton, and particularily the difficulty of separating the cotton seed from the fiber. By the mid 1800's slavery was still in power, but the impact of the cotton gin was beginning to make slavery uneconomical. An interesting what if -- would slavery have ended within a few years even if the Civil War had not been fought.
This companion text to the PBS television documentary is a riveting account of the taking of African slaves for trade in the Americas. This is a historical account of human suffering and exploitation, and the social impact of slavery upon the Americas.
I have three criticisms of the text concerning its accounts.
First, the text does not elaborate upon the Abolitionist movement as a fundamental religious movement.
Second, the book does not elaborate enough on the role of religion in elevating former slaves.
Third, the book gives no account of early voices in America protesting the practices of slavery. Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and John Adams were all opposed to slavery and attempted to abolish its practice in the drafting of the Declaration of Independence. For lack of sufficient votes from the southern colonies, the clause was stricken from the Declaration.
Notwithstanding, the text is higly informative and thorough. It does enter into detail concerning the nature of slavery and the economoic and social forces which drove it, and it is an excellent resource.