The single best short survey in America, now es a New Preface and AfterwardIn terms of accessibility and comprehensive coverage, Kolchin’s. Peter Kolchin’s American Slavery, first published in in the widely acclaimed American Century Series edited by Eric Foner, is a useful and mas terly survey. peter kolchin’s american slavery: chapters and the economies of the british colonies that would eventually become the united states were not.

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Jun 10, Walter rated it it was amazing.

It also covers the war, which initially began about keeping the union, but Lincoln and others had to address slavery since the South was intent on keeping the institution and expanding it to the west.

Colonial, American Revolution, and Antebellum years. This is a careful if occasionally dry one-volume overview of the “peculiar institution. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

As slavery became increasingly important to the southern economy and way of life, southerners became more defensive of it. A great introduction to the history of slavery in the United States from when the first slaves were sold at Jamestown to the end of Reconstruction in Kolchin makes many comparisons to slavery in the Carribbean and serfdom in Russia but does not rely on those comparisons to define American slavery.

The sugar and rice plantations of the Caribbean and South America had very large numbers of primarily male slaves who interacted with relatively few whites. I enjoyed this book immensely and recommend it to anyone interested in understanding the uniqueness of slavery in America.

Kolchin sets out to make a balanced survey which weighs all the different arguments that scholars have advanced about various aspects of slavery. Kolchin further assists readers in that effort by providing a wonderful bibliographic essay at the end of his book.


American Slavery: by Peter Kolchin

May 18, Joseph rated it really liked it Shelves: Want to Read Currently Reading Read. And he does incorporate enough specific examples to make for pretty easy reading. It remains the best book to introduce a subject of profound and lasting importance, one that lies at the center amrican American history.

Dec 23, Matthew Richey rated it it was amazing Shelves: One of the book’s largest strengths is Kolchin’s navigation of the massive historiography. Sep 01, Jake Goretzki rated it really liked it Shelves: Kolchin’s attempts at comparati A good amerivan history of smerican subject that can be appreciated by undergraduates i. In other places, slaves often died and had to be replaced with new slaves from Africa, but in America, slaves reproduced, creating new generations of American born slaves that developed a new African-American culture that blended elements of their African heritage with American elements.

Now updated to address a decade of new scholarship, the book slaveryy a new preface, afterword, and revised and expanded bibliographic essay. It is, however, a very thorough overview on a crucial topic.

Instead of the usual Civil War rhetoric or views from the owner’s perspective, this book shows what it’s like inside the life of slaves and also compares it to other countries enforced labor around the same time. Published Amrican 1st by Hill and Wang first published Kolchin writes about slave life through the Civil War, and, not surprisingly, he sees slavery as leaving a legacy that has persisted throughout our own century.

Selected pages Title Page. Excellently done, I’d recommend to anyone interested in the history of slavery. Where this is a somewhat small book under pagesit provides a very clear understanding of the different topics that were affected by slavery without digging too deep.

Includes a New Preface and AfterwardIn terms elavery accessibility and comprehensive coverage, Kolchin’s American Slavery is a singularly important achievement. It’s that ability to show how perceptions of slavery have had such a large elavery on the history of the United States that really sets this book apart.


Kolchin’s attempts at comparative history his Unfree Labor compares Russian serfdom to American slavery seem to fall flat, but I suppose my own aversion to the stuff it’s always done in such a ham-handed way: If you know nothing about slavery, you will learn much from this book.

The American Slavery, by Peter Kolchin is a comprehensive history of slavery and importantly addresses the way the nation supportive an infrastructure for exploiting people. This resulted in an intense relationship between slaves and slave owners an The sugar and rice plantations of the Caribbean and South America had very large numbers of primarily male slaves who interacted with relatively few whites.

Kolchin notes that most African slaves at first did not arrive in America, but usually found themselves in other Caribbean colonies. Of particular interest is the chapter on reconstruction, which highlights the ambivalent attitudes of some freed slaves and also highlights their increased agency in determining their fate.

Conversely, because tobacco and cotton could be grown on small as well as large farms, American slave holdings were relatively small, had a high ratio of whites to blacks, and masters who tended to work alongside slaves, who themselves formed families and reproduced. There was a problem adding your email address.

American Slavery, 1619-1877

Kolvhin Options Sign in. Would strongly suggest this book to anyone with an interest in history. By the antebellum period, Kolchin presents a culture that is almost paranoid. I’m being nitpicky, though.

Mar 21, Elizabeth Higginbotham rated it really liked it. Jan 13, Jenny rated it really liked it.