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Many Thousands Gone: The First Two Centuries of Slavery in North America

by

Many Thousands Gone: The First Two Centuries of Slavery in North America Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Today most Americans, black and white, identify slavery with cotton, the deep South, and the African-American church. But at the beginning of the nineteenth century, after almost two hundred years of African-American life in mainland North America, few slaves grew cotton, lived in the deep South, or embraced Christianity. Many Thousands Gone traces the evolution of black society from the first arrivals in the early seventeenth century through the Revolution. In telling their story, Ira Berlin, a leading historian of southern and African-American life, reintegrates slaves into the history of the American working class and into the tapestry of our nation.

Laboring as field hands on tobacco and rice plantations, as skilled artisans in port cities, or soldiers along the frontier, generation after generation of African Americans struggled to create a world of their own in circumstances not of their own making. In a panoramic view that stretches from the North to the Chesapeake Bay and Carolina lowcountry to the Mississippi Valley, Many Thousands Gone reveals the diverse forms that slavery and freedom assumed before cotton was king. We witness the transformation that occurred as the first generations of creole slaves--who worked alongside their owners, free blacks, and indentured whites--gave way to the plantation generations, whose back-breaking labor was the sole engine of their society and whose physical and linguistic isolation sustained African traditions on American soil.

As the nature of the slaves' labor changed with place and time, so did the relationship between slave and master, and between slave and society. In this fresh and vivid interpretation, Berlin demonstrates that the meaning of slavery and of race itself was continually renegotiated and redefined, as the nation lurched toward political and economic independence and grappled with the Enlightenment ideals that had inspired its birth.

Synopsis:

Ira Berlin, a leading historian of southern and African-American life traces the evolution of black society in America from its creation in the early seventeenth century through the American Revolution. Berlin presents a panoramic view that stretches from the North to the Chesapeake Bay and Carolina lowcountry to the Mississippi Valley, revealing the diverse forms that slavery and freedom assumed before cotton was king.

Synopsis:

1999 Bancroft Prize, Columbia University

Honorable Mention, 1999 Gustavus Myers Outstanding Book Award, Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights in North America

1999 Elliott Rudwick Prize, Organization of American Historians

1999 Frederick Douglass Book Prize, Yale University's Gilder Lehrman Center and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

1998 Association of American Publishers PSP Award for Excellence, History Category

Finalist, 1998 National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction

Co-Winner, 1999 Frank L. and Harriet C. Owsley Award, Southern Historical Association

Finalist, 1998 Los Angeles Times Book Prize, History Category

Synopsis:

Today most Americans, black and white, identify slavery with cotton, the deep South, and the African-American church. But at the beginning of the nineteenth century, after almost two hundred years of African-American life in mainland North America, few slaves grew cotton, lived in the deep South, or embraced Christianity. Many Thousands Gonetraces the evolution of black society from the first arrivals in the early seventeenth century through the Revolution. In telling their story, Ira Berlin, a leading historian of southern and African-American life, reintegrates slaves into the history of the American working class and into the tapestry of our nation.

Laboring as field hands on tobacco and rice plantations, as skilled artisans in port cities, or soldiers along the frontier, generation after generation of African Americans struggled to create a world of their own in circumstances not of their own making. In a panoramic view that stretches from the North to the Chesapeake Bay and Carolina lowcountry to the Mississippi Valley, Many Thousands Gonereveals the diverse forms that slavery and freedom assumed before cotton was king. We witness the transformation that occurred as the first generations of creole slaves--who worked alongside their owners, free blacks, and indentured whites--gave way to the plantation generations, whose back-breaking labor was the sole engine of their society and whose physical and linguistic isolation sustained African traditions on American soil.

As the nature of the slaves' labor changed with place and time, so did the relationship between slave and master, and between slave and society. In this fresh and vivid interpretation, Berlin demonstrates that the meaning of slavery and of race itself was continually renegotiated and redefined, as the nation lurched toward political and economic independence and grappled with the Enlightenment ideals that had inspired its birth.

About the Author

<>Ira Berlinis Distinguished University Professor at the <>University of Maryland, College Park.

Table of Contents

  • Prologue: Making Slavery, Making Race
  • Societies with Slaves: The Charter Generations
    • Emergence of Atlantic Creoles in the Chesapeake
    • Expansion of Creole Society in the North
    • Divergent Paths in the Lowcountry
    • Devolution in the Lower Mississippi Valley
  • Slave Societies: The Plantation Generations
    • The Tobacco Revolution in the Chesapeake
    • The Rice Revolution in the Lowcountry
    • Growth and the Transformation of Black Life in the North
    • Stagnation and Transformation in the Lower Mississippi Valley
  • Slave and Free: The Revolutionary Generations
    • The Slow Death of Slavery in the North
    • The Union of African-American Society in the Upper South
    • Fragmentation in the Lower South
    • Slavery and Freedom in the Lower Mississippi Valley
  • Epilogue: Making Race, Making Slavery
  • Tables
  • Abbreviations
  • Notes
  • Acknowledgments
  • Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780674002111
Author:
Berlin, Ira
Publisher:
Belknap Press
Author:
Berlin, IRA
Location:
Cambridge, Mass.
Subject:
General
Subject:
United States - General
Subject:
Afro-americans
Subject:
Anthropology - Cultural
Subject:
Slavery
Subject:
African Americans
Subject:
US History-General
Subject:
Social Science-Slavery
Subject:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies/African-American Studies
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series Volume:
32
Publication Date:
March 2000
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
4 maps, 4 woodcuts, 3 tables
Pages:
512
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 18 oz

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » African American Studies » Slavery and Reconstruction
History and Social Science » Military » Civil War » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » Slavery
History and Social Science » US History » 1800 to Civil War
History and Social Science » US History » General
History and Social Science » US History » Revolution and Constitution Era
Reference » Science Reference » General

Many Thousands Gone: The First Two Centuries of Slavery in North America New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$37.95 In Stock
Product details 512 pages Belknap Press - English 9780674002111 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Ira Berlin, a leading historian of southern and African-American life traces the evolution of black society in America from its creation in the early seventeenth century through the American Revolution. Berlin presents a panoramic view that stretches from the North to the Chesapeake Bay and Carolina lowcountry to the Mississippi Valley, revealing the diverse forms that slavery and freedom assumed before cotton was king.
"Synopsis" by , 1999 Bancroft Prize, Columbia University

Honorable Mention, 1999 Gustavus Myers Outstanding Book Award, Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights in North America

1999 Elliott Rudwick Prize, Organization of American Historians

1999 Frederick Douglass Book Prize, Yale University's Gilder Lehrman Center and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

1998 Association of American Publishers PSP Award for Excellence, History Category

Finalist, 1998 National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction

Co-Winner, 1999 Frank L. and Harriet C. Owsley Award, Southern Historical Association

Finalist, 1998 Los Angeles Times Book Prize, History Category

"Synopsis" by , Today most Americans, black and white, identify slavery with cotton, the deep South, and the African-American church. But at the beginning of the nineteenth century, after almost two hundred years of African-American life in mainland North America, few slaves grew cotton, lived in the deep South, or embraced Christianity. Many Thousands Gonetraces the evolution of black society from the first arrivals in the early seventeenth century through the Revolution. In telling their story, Ira Berlin, a leading historian of southern and African-American life, reintegrates slaves into the history of the American working class and into the tapestry of our nation.

Laboring as field hands on tobacco and rice plantations, as skilled artisans in port cities, or soldiers along the frontier, generation after generation of African Americans struggled to create a world of their own in circumstances not of their own making. In a panoramic view that stretches from the North to the Chesapeake Bay and Carolina lowcountry to the Mississippi Valley, Many Thousands Gonereveals the diverse forms that slavery and freedom assumed before cotton was king. We witness the transformation that occurred as the first generations of creole slaves--who worked alongside their owners, free blacks, and indentured whites--gave way to the plantation generations, whose back-breaking labor was the sole engine of their society and whose physical and linguistic isolation sustained African traditions on American soil.

As the nature of the slaves' labor changed with place and time, so did the relationship between slave and master, and between slave and society. In this fresh and vivid interpretation, Berlin demonstrates that the meaning of slavery and of race itself was continually renegotiated and redefined, as the nation lurched toward political and economic independence and grappled with the Enlightenment ideals that had inspired its birth.

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