The Richmond History Podcast

Monday, January 16, 2012

Inhuman Bondage: The Rise and Fall of Slavery in the New World by David Brion Davis

It seems odd to say  the book Inhuman Bondage (2006) by David Brion Davis, is enjoyable because of its subject matter, but it is.  Comprehensive and engaging, it can shake any belief in the goodness of humanity.  The book traces the roots of slavery in the Americas with in depth chapters that focus on precolonial slavery, Hatti, the only culture where slaves led an armed uprising and won their own freedom, the British emancipation of it slaves with out an armed up rising, and the rise of abolitionists in America that contributed to the American Civil War, putting US slavery in a global and historical context.  It doesn't spend a lot of time addressing many specific slave experiences, instead focusing on a more general history of slavery and some of the justifications for it.  One of the more interesting topics is how Christianity could be twisted to justify both slavery and abolition. 
Davis is  Sterling Professor of History Emeritus at Yale and Director Emeritus of Yale's and
Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition.
His other books include:
Homicide in American Fiction (1957); The Problem of Slavery in Western Culture (1966); The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Revolution (1975); Slavery and Human Progress (1984); Revolutions: American Equality and Foreign Liberations (1990); In the Image of God: Religion, Moral Values, and Our Heritage of Slavery (2001), Challenging the Boundaries of Slavery (2003)
This is a must read if yo are at all interested in the slavery. (The history of not the activity)

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