Honor & Slavery: Lies, Duels, Noses, Masks, Dressing As a Woman, Gifts, Strangers, Humanitarianism, Death, Slave Rebellions, the Proslavery Argument, Baseball

Greenberg, Kenneth S.

Published by Princeton Univ Pr, 1996
ISBN 10: 069102734X / ISBN 13: 9780691027340
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The "honorable men" who ruled the Old South had a language all their own, one comprised of many apparently outlandish features yet revealing much about the lives of masters and the nature of slavery. When we examine Jefferson Davis's explanation as to why he was wearing women's clothing when caught by Union soldiers, or when we consider the story of Virginian statesman John Randolph, who stood on his doorstep declaring to an unwanted dinner guest that he was "not at home," we see that conveying empirical truths was not the goal of their speech. Kenneth Greenberg so skillfully demonstrates, the language of honor embraced a complex system of phrases, gestures, and behaviors that centered on deep-rooted values: asserting authority and maintaining respect. How these values were encoded in such acts as nose-pulling, outright lying, dueling, and gift-giving is a matter that Greenberg takes up in a fascinating and original way.


The author looks at a range of situations when the words and gestures of honor came into play, and he re-creates the contexts and associations that once made them comprehensible. We understand, for example, the insult a navy lieutenant leveled at President Andrew Jackson when he pulls his nose, once we understand how a gentleman valued his face, especially his nose, as the symbol of his public image. Greenberg probes the lieutenant's motivations by explaining what it meant to perceive oneself as dishonored and how such a perception seemed comparable to being treated as a slave. When John Randolph lavished gifts on his friends and enemies as he calmly faced the prospect of death in a duel with Secretary of State Henry Clay, his generosity had a paternalistic meaning echoed by the master-slave relationship and reflected in the pro-slavery argument. These acts, together with the way a gentleman chose to lend money, drink with strangers, go hunting, and die, all formed a language of control, a vision of what it meant to live as a courageous free man. In reconstructing the language of honor in the Old South, Greenberg reconstructs the world.


From the Back Cover:

"A genuinely fresh contribution to our understanding of the culture of the Old South . . . Greenberg writes with charm, verve, and vigor."--Eugene Genovese


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Bibliographic Details

Title: Honor & Slavery: Lies, Duels, Noses, Masks, ...
Publisher: Princeton Univ Pr
Publication Date: 1996
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Very Good

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Greenberg, Kenneth S.
Published by Princeton University Press (1996)
ISBN 10: 069102734X ISBN 13: 9780691027340
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Book Description Princeton University Press. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. 069102734X Lightly used ex-library with DJ in clear protective cover. Checked out twice!! No marking, other than library markings, found in text. Binding solid. Packaged carefully for shipping. Ships within 24 hours with tracking. Satisfaction guaranteed!! Sorry, no APO/FPO. Seller Inventory # SKU1025254

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Book Description Princeton Univ Pr, Ewing, New Jersey, U.S.A., 1996. Hard Cover. Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. First Edition. This is NOT an ex library or remainder book. The book is tightly bound and square. The pages are crisp, clean, and notation free. The dust jacket is clean and defect free, there is a price sticker on the inside flap. This is a first edition, great book! Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Seller Inventory # 50862

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Book Description Princeton University Press, 1996. Hardcover. Condition: Used: Good. Seller Inventory # SONG069102734X

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Book Description Princeton, 1996. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. Exlibrary, usual markings. ; 176 pages. Seller Inventory # 38025

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Book Description Princeton University Press, U.S.A., 1996. Hardcover. Condition: Near Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine. 1st Edition. First printing. Greenberg, a professor of history at Suffolk, explores 'patterns of language and behavior among white males in the antebellum South.' A few B&W illustrations in text. Chapter Notes at end. Contents arranged by topic. A fine, unread copy in like DJ. 176 pp. Seller Inventory # 13934

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Book Description Princeton University Press, 1996. Hardcover. Condition: Good. Ships with Tracking Number! INTERNATIONAL WORLDWIDE Shipping available. May not contain Access Codes or Supplements. May be ex-library. Shipping & Handling by region. Buy with confidence, excellent customer service!. Seller Inventory # 069102734Xq

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Book Description Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1996. HB. Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. 1st Edition. Deep plum cloth boards with gilt spine title, brown endpapers and unclipped DJ. Neat prev owner name on FFEP. All inside pages are clean and tight. 176pp. incl. 12 b/w ills (16 x 24cm). Seller Inventory # 38265

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