Slavery and the Making of America

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Oxford University Press, 2006 - History - 254 pages
5 Reviews
The history of slavery is central to understanding the history of the United States. Slavery and the Making of America offers a richly illustrated, vividly written history that illuminates the human side of this inhumane institution, presenting it largely through stories of the slaves themselves. Readers will discover a wide ranging and sharply nuanced look at American slavery, from the first Africans brought to British colonies in the early seventeenth century to the end of Reconstruction. The authors document the horrors of slavery, particularly in the deep South, and describe the valiant struggles to escape bondage, from dramatic tales of slaves such as William and Ellen Craft to Dred Scott's doomed attempt to win his freedom through the Supreme Court. We see how slavery set our nation on the road of violence, from bloody riots that broke out in American cities over fugitive slaves, to the cataclysm of the Civil War. Along the way, readers meet such individuals as "Black Sam" Fraunces, a West Indian mulatto who owned the Queen's Head Tavern in New York City, a key meeting place for revolutionaries in the 1760s and 1770s and Sergeant William H. Carney, who won the Congressional Medal of Honor for his bravery at the crucial assault on Fort Wagner duringthe Civil War as well as Benjamin "Pap" Singleton, a former slave who led freed African Americans to a new life on the American frontier.

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User Review  - dswaddell - LibraryThing

I found that the author frequently wandered off into ideas and historical inaccuracies in which he applies simplistic arguments concerning slavery into complicated or incorrect circumstances such as ... Read full review

Review: Slavery and the Making of America

User Review  - Deborah - Goodreads

In 1619 a few Africans landed in Virginia they were not slaves, by the late 17th Century slave laws were being established across the colonies. The question to ask yourself would America be America without slavery? Read full review

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About the author (2006)


James Oliver Horton is the Benjamin Banneker Professor of American Studies & History at George Washington University, and Historian Emeritus at the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution. Lois E. Horton is a Professor of History at George Mason University. They are the authors of such classic studies as Black Bostonians: Family Life and Community Struggle in the Antebellum North, In Hope of Liberty: Culture, Community and Protest Among Northern Free Blacks, 1700-1860, and Hard Road to Freedom: The Story of African America.

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