Originally published in 1853, Twelve Years a Slave is a haunting portrayal of stolen freedom and brutal life on the sugar and cotton plantations of the Deep South.
Landowner, carpenter, and skilled violinist Solomon Northup is living comfortably with his wife and children in Saratoga, New York, when two circus promoters offer him work as a traveling musician. They then drug and kidnap him, and Northup is sold into slavery and transported to Louisiana, spending twelve grueling years in captivity, at the whim of several ruthless slave owners.
With its gripping and horrendous accounts of slave life in the Deep South, Solomon Northup's seminal memoir is now available as an elegantly designed clothbound edition with an elastic closure and a new introduction.
Hailed by Toni Morrison as "required reading," a bold and personal literary exploration of America's racial history by "the most important essayist in a generation and a writer who changed the national political conversation about race" (Rolling Stone)
NAMED ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL BOOKS OF THE DECADE BY CNN - NAMED ONE OF PASTE'S BEST MEMOIRS OF THE DECADE - NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review - O: The Oprah Magazine - The Washington Post - People - Entertainment Weekly - Vogue - Los Angeles Times - San Francisco Chronicle - Chicago Tribune - New York - Newsday - Library Journal - Publishers Weekly In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation's history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of "race," a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men--bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden? Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates's attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son--and readers--the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children's lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.
By summer 1861 the federal government invoked military authority to begin freeing slaves, immediately and without slaveholder compensation, as they fled to Union lines in the disloyal South. In the loyal Border States the Republicans tried coaxing officials into gradual abolition with promises of compensation and the colonization abroad of freed blacks. James Oakes shows that Lincoln's landmark 1863 proclamation marked neither the beginning nor the end of emancipation: it triggered a more aggressive phase of military emancipation, sending Union soldiers onto plantations to entice slaves away and enlist the men in the army. But slavery proved deeply entrenched, with slaveholders determined to re-enslave freedmen left behind the shifting Union lines. Lincoln feared that the war could end in Union victory with slavery still intact. The Thirteenth Amendment that so succinctly abolished slavery was no formality: it was the final act in a saga of immense war, social upheaval, and determined political leadership.
Fresh and compelling, this magisterial history offers a new understanding of the death of slavery and the rebirth of a nation.
With this volume, Davis presents the age of emancipation as a model for reform and as probably the greatest landmark of willed moral progress in human history. Bringing to a close his staggeringly ambitious, prizewinning trilogy on slavery in Western culture Davis offers original and penetrating insights into what slavery and emancipation meant to Americans. He explores how the Haitian Revolution respectively terrified and inspired white and black Americans, hovering over the antislavery debates like a bloodstained ghost. He offers a surprising analysis of the complex and misunderstood significance the project to move freed slaves back to Africa. He vividly portrays the dehumanizing impact of slavery, as well as the generally unrecognized importance of freed slaves to abolition. Most of all, Davis presents the age of emancipation as a model for reform and as probably the greatest landmark of willed moral progress in human history.
"My Bondage and My Freedom," writes John Stauffer in his Foreword, " is] a deep meditation on the meaning of slavery, race, and freedom, and on the power of faith and literacy, as well as a portrait of an individual and a nation a few years before the Civil War." As his narrative unfolds, Frederick Douglass--abolitionist, journalist, orator, and one of the most powerful voices to emerge from the American civil rights movement--transforms himself from slave to fugitive to reformer, leaving behind a legacy of social, intellectual, and political thought. Set from the text of the 1855 first edition, this Modern Library Paperback Classic includes Douglass's original Appendix, composed of excerpts from the author's speeches as well as a letter he wrote to his former master.
The author of King Leopold's Ghost offers a stirring account of the first great human rights crusade, which originated in England in the 1780s and resulted in the freeing of hundreds of thousands of slaves around the world. Reprint.
From the 1840s through the end of the Civil War, leading Minnesotans invited slaveholders and their wealth into the free territory and free state of Minnesota, enriching the area's communities and residents. Dozens of southern slaveholders and people raised in slaveholding families purchased land and backed Minnesota businesses. Slaveholders' wealth was invested in some of the state's most significant institutions and provided a financial foundation for several towns and counties. And the money generated by Minnesota investments flowed both ways, supporting some of the South's largest plantations.
Minnesotans eagerly catered to this source of investment. Politicians and officeholders like Henry Sibley, Henry Rice, and Sylvanus Lowry worked for a slaveholder; the latter two recruited wealthy southern slaveholders to invest in property. Six hundred residents of the new state of Minnesota petitioned the legislature to make slavery legal for vacationing southerners who brought with them enslaved men and women "as body servants, for their comfort and convenience" while they escaped the summer heat of the South.
Through careful research in obscure records, censuses, newspapers, and archival collections, Christopher Lehman has brought to light this hidden history of northern complicity in building slaveholder wealth.
This absorbing book is the first ever to focus on the traffic in Indian slaves during the early years of the American South. The Indian slave trade was of central importance from the Carolina coast to the Mississippi Valley for nearly fifty years, linking southern lives and creating a whirlwind of violence and profit-making, argues Alan Gallay. He documents in vivid detail how the trade operated, the processes by which Europeans and Native Americans became participants, and the profound consequences for the South and its peoples.The author places Native Americans at the center of the story of European colonization and the evolution of plantation slavery in America. He explores the impact of such contemporary forces as the African slave trade, the unification of England and Scotland, and the competition among European empires as well as political and religious divisions in England and in South Carolina. Gallay also analyzes how Native American societies approached warfare, diplomacy, and decisions about allying and trading with Europeans. His wide-ranging research not only illuminates a crucial crossroad of European and Native American history but also establishes a new context for understanding racism, colonialism, and the meaning of ethnicity in early America.
In the late 1990s, most Americans, black and white, identify slavery with cotton, the deep South, and the African-American church. But at the beginning of the 19th century, after almost 200 years of African-American life in mainland North America, few slaves grew cotton, lived in the deep South, or embraced Christianity. This text traces the evolution of black society from the first arrivals in the early-17th century through to 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 the nation.