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When I Was a Slave: Memoirs from the Slave Narrative Collection (Dover Thrift Editions)

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When I Was a Slave: Memoirs from the Slave Narrative Collection (Dover Thrift Editions) Cover

ISBN13: 9780486420707
ISBN10: 0486420701
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In an effort to provide unemployed writers with work during the Great Depression of the 1930s, the U.S. government, through the Works Progress Administration (WPA), funded the Federal Writers' Project. One of the group's most noteworthy and enduring achievements was the Slave Narrative Collection, a series of books consisting of more than 2,000 interviews with former slaves, who, in blunt, simple words, provided often startling first-person accounts of their lives in bondage. This book reprints some of the most detailed, compelling, and engrossing life histories in the collection. These memoirs represent an illuminating and unique source of information about life in the South before, during, and after the Civil War, and about the institution of slavery. Most importantly, they preserve the opinions and perspectives of those who were enslaved.

Book News Annotation:

A selection from the Slave Narrative Collection recorded by the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-38.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

More than 2,000 interviews with former slaves, who, in blunt, simple language, provide often-startling first-person accounts of their lives in bondage. Includes some of the most detailed, compelling, and engrossing life histories in the Slave Narrative Collection, a project funded by the U.S. Government. An illuminating source of information.

Synopsis:

More than 2,000 interviews with former slaves, who, in blunt, simple language, provide often-startling first-person accounts of their lives in bondage. Includes some of the most detailed, compelling, and engrossing life histories in the Slave Narrative Collection, a project funded by the U.S. Government. An illuminating source of information.

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Home School Book Review, March 31, 2013 (view all comments by Home School Book Review)
During the Great Depression of the 1930s, one of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal programs was the Works Progress Administration (WPA). Now, I’m sure that the WPA did some good things that have had lasting benefits, but I also noticed that Larry Schweikart wrote in A Patriot’s History of the United States that “the WPA generated jobs of far more dubious value than the PWA” (Public Works Administration). In any event, one of the “most noteworthy and enduring achievements of the WPA” was a group of autobiographical accounts of former slaves consisting of more than 2,000 interviews by the Federal Writer’s Project compiled in seventeen states during the years of 1936 to 1938. These narratives were then organized into a nineteen-volume series known as The Slave Narrative Collection, which was deposited in the Rare Book Room at the Library of Congress.

The existence of the Collection was first publicized in 1945 with the publication of B. A. Botkin’s Lay My Burden Down, which is comprised of excerpts and selections from the Collection, but only a handful were reprinted in their entirety. Next, in 1970, Norman Yetman published Voices From Slavery, which contains 100 complete interviews. Then in 2002, Dover Publications reissued some 34 of the interviews previously published in Lay My Burden Down and Voices From Slavery in a new edition entitled When I Was a Slave, also edited by Yetman. These narratives with former slaves, who, in simple, frank language, provide often-startling first-person accounts of their lives in bondage, include some of the most detailed, compelling, and engrossing life histories from The Slave Narrative Collection.

The stories are varied; some of the slaves had relatively mild experiences, while others suffered horrific and barbaric treatment. Yet, regardless of their condition, all of them pointed out how greatly they longed for freedom. The book is not really appropriate for young children. The language includes some cursing and profanity along with a couple of mildly vulgar terms. A few talked freely about “breeding” or “mating,” with occasional mention even of how masters took up with their slave women, and one described a situation rather bluntly where a person was shot and killed. There are several references to drinking alcohol, using tobacco, gambling, and dancing, but all these things are placed within a historical context. Thus, it would provide a great first-hand source of original materials for teenagers studying American history and especially the subject of slavery.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780486420707
Editor:
Yetman, Norman R.
Author:
Federal Writers Project
Editor:
Yetman, Norman R.
Author:
Yetman
Author:
Yetman, Norman R.
Author:
Dover Thrift Editions
Publisher:
Dover Publications
Location:
Mineola, N.Y.
Subject:
General
Subject:
United states
Subject:
Minority Studies
Subject:
Slavery
Subject:
African American Studies
Subject:
United States - Antebellum Era
Subject:
Slaves
Subject:
African Americans
Subject:
Ethnic Studies - African American Studies - Histor
Subject:
Slaves -- United States.
Subject:
General-General
Subject:
American - African American
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Series:
Dover Thrift Editions
Series Volume:
27
Publication Date:
20020731
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 9
Language:
English
Pages:
157
Dimensions:
8.25 x 9 in 0.29 lb
Age Level:
from 14

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Related Subjects


History and Social Science » African American Studies » General
History and Social Science » African American Studies » Slave Narratives
History and Social Science » Sociology » Reference and Methodology
History and Social Science » Sociology » Slavery
History and Social Science » US History » 19th Century
Young Adult » General

When I Was a Slave: Memoirs from the Slave Narrative Collection (Dover Thrift Editions) New Trade Paper
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Product details 157 pages Dover Publications - English 9780486420707 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
More than 2,000 interviews with former slaves, who, in blunt, simple language, provide often-startling first-person accounts of their lives in bondage. Includes some of the most detailed, compelling, and engrossing life histories in the Slave Narrative Collection, a project funded by the U.S. Government. An illuminating source of information.

"Synopsis" by ,
More than 2,000 interviews with former slaves, who, in blunt, simple language, provide often-startling first-person accounts of their lives in bondage. Includes some of the most detailed, compelling, and engrossing life histories in the Slave Narrative Collection, a project funded by the U.S. Government. An illuminating source of information.
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