A testament to the power of the human spirit under conditions of extreme oppression, this landmark history of slavery in the South challenged conventional views by illuminating the many forms of resistance to dehumanization that developed in slave society.
Displaying keen insight into the minds of both enslaved persons and slaveholders, historian Eugene Genovese investigates the ways that enslaved persons forced their owners to acknowledge their humanity through culture, music, and religion. He covers a vast range of subjects, from slave weddings and funerals, to language, food, clothing, and labor, and places particular emphasis on religion as both a major battleground for psychological control and a paradoxical source of spiritual strength.
A winner of the Bancroft Prize.
About the Author
Eugene D. Genovese was the author of several books, including Roll, Jordan, Roll, for which he won the Bancroft Prize; The Southern Tradition; and The Southern Front. Genovese was known for his Marxist perspective in regards to the study of power, class, and race relations in during plantation life in the old south. Genovese passed away in 2012.
"The most profound, learned, and detailed analysis of slavery to appear since World War II. It covers an incredible range of topics and offers fresh insights on nearly every page. . . . Genovese's great gift is his ability to penetrate the minds of both slaves and masters, revealing not only how they viewed themselves and each other, but also how their contradictory perceptions interacted." --The New York Times Book Review
"Without modern peer as an historical narrative, as a sensitive functional analysis of a major region and period of American society in general, and the Afro-American community in particular." --The New Republic
"Altogether a first-class historical work, enhanced by a good, forthright style" --The New Yorker
"Genovese has done more than any other American historian to life this tortured subject out of its culture-bound parochialism." --C. Vann Woodward, The New York Review of Books