Slavery: History and Historians

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9780064370011: Slavery: History and Historians

This study of slavery focuses initially on the drastic revisions in the historical debate on slavery and the present understanding of the peculiar institution.” It gives a concise explanation of the nature of American slavery and its impact on the slaves themselves and on Southern society and culture. And it broadens our understanding of the debates among historians about slavery; compares Southern slavery with slavery elsewhere in the New World; and shows how slavery evolved and changed over time and how it ended. Peter Parish examines some of the important recent works on slavery to identify crucial questions and basic themes and define the main areas of controversy.

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This study of American slavery focuses initially on the drastic revisions in the historical debate on slavery and the present understanding of 'the peculiar institution.' It gives a concise explanation of the nature of American slavery and its impact on the slaves themselves and on Southern society and culture.

From Library Journal:

In this expanded version of his pamphlet Slavery (1981), British historian Parish essays the recent dramatic shifts in the historiography of slavery. He eschews comprehensiveness for selective treatment of the major works of the 1960s-80s, noting the shift from the 1970s synoptic histories to the intensively localistic studies of the 1980s. New sources, new methodologies, and new sensitivity to the slaves as persons rather than passive objects--all inform the "new history" of slavery that emphasizes a dynamic, syncretic Afro-American culture and the masters' sometimes tenuous hold on the slaves and the South. Parish covers such topics as the business of slavery, labor, the slaves' lives, slavery in comparative New World contexts, and more, and concludes that the "peculiar institution" was riddled with contradictions. This book is an essential primer. Recommended for college libraries.
- Randall M. Miller, St. Joseph's Univ., Philadelphia
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Peter J. Parish
Published by Harpercollins (1989)
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