Inhuman Bondage: The Rise and Fall of Slavery in the New World

David Brion Davis, Author Oxford University Press $30 (440p) ISBN 978-0-19-514073-6
Pulitzer Prize-winner Davis follows Challenging the Boundaries of Slavery with this impressive and sprawling history of ""human attempts to dehumanize other people"" that focuses extensively on slave rebellions. These counter-attempts, Davis argues, are what form the base of the identities and communities of the descendants of New World slaves. In charting the evolution of slavery and societies' responses to it from 71 BCE to 1948, Davis author shows how ancient slavery practices mirrored the process of animal domestication, explores the moral conflicts the United States faced during the American Revolution and how the Haitian revolutions disrupted the class system. A lengthy and especially informative study of British and American abolitionist movements paves the way for a concise breakdown of American slavery politics during the Civil War and reconstruction. Davis's account is rich in detail, and his voice is clear enough to coax even casual readers through this dense history.
Reviewed on: 01/30/2006
Release date: 02/01/2006
Genre: Nonfiction
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