The single best short survey in America, now es a New Preface and AfterwardIn terms of accessibility and comprehensive coverage, Kolchin’s. Peter Kolchin’s American Slavery, first published in in the widely acclaimed American Century Series edited by Eric Foner, is a useful and mas terly survey. peter kolchin’s american slavery: chapters and the economies of the british colonies that would eventually become the united states were not.

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Jun 10, Kara Corthron rated it did not like it. Kolchin continually compares American slavery to other types of slavery around the world, including the Caribbean colonies — which form a useful comparison because of their reliance on African slaves — but also Russian serfdom. Kolchin covers the state of historians’ understanding of slavery in America both chronologically and by topic e. Mar 21, Elizabeth Higginbotham rated it really liked it.

Peter Kolchin

If there are folks reading this book that need “reasons” for why people escaped slavery, please pick up a different book; this one ain’t gonna help you. Jan 13, Jenny rated it really liked it. I would definitely recommend this novel to anyone who loves learning about slavery. Jun 10, Walter rated it it was amazing.

To give an example, I noticed this while he soavery talking about the planters’ “resident mentality”. That would greatly enhance the book, especially for folks not used to reading historical overviews like this. Sep 12, Teri rated it really liked it Shelves: For the general reader, this book could be somewhat dry because he has to pack in a lot of information in a short space.


For example, he dismantles the idea that slavery made the South a more economically productive region than the North by demonstrating that the only reason for southern economic growth was the use of more land. Jul 08, Joseph Stieb rated it really liked it Shelves: During this period, some Americans mostly Quakers began to question the institution on moral grounds.

The American Revolution brought a number of changes in the system of slavery. Really interesting and informative read on the history of slavery in the US. Kolchin covers this complex topic in vivid yet concise detail over 3 centuries.

American Slavery, 1619-1877

Kolchin writes about slave life through the Civil War, and, not surprisingly, he sees slavery as leaving a legacy that has persisted throughout our own century. Where this is a somewhat small book under pagesit provides a very clear understanding of the different topics that were affected by slavery without digging too deep. Much of what we know, or think we know, dates from the “antebellum” period of roughlywhen the planters began a reactionary movement that masked their economic interests behind racist and paternalistic apologetics for the desirability of slavery for both master and slave.

Such a survey naturally does not have a single argument or thesis, but Kolchin does continually return to the theme that slavery in America was not a static institution but was constantly changing, from a system of indentured servitude in the early colonial era to a race-based, paternalistic model in the antebellum period.

By clicking on “Submit” you agree that you have read and agree to the Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. I had never read anything comprehensive about American slavery.

Second, it delves into the major historiographical debates on slavery in concise and clear ways, which is great for comps. I’ve been reading Matt’s old school books for pleasure. America book is hardly exhaustive, nor is it advertised as such.


Kolchin presents a complex molchin of slavery as it evolves and changes over time. This is a careful if occasionally dry slavrey overview of the “peculiar institution. For Kolchin, America’s experience with slavery is drastically different than other Caribbean forms of slavery simply because the American slave population grew. He packs a really slavedy history into a short book that helped me see the bigger picture.

I don’t mind when an author keeps reiterating their main idea and tying it into each new section actually I think that’s good writingbut Kolchin will re-state something he just talked about a couple of pages ago like it’s new, and it makes the book disjointed, like he sat down and wrote each section without reference to the last. Antebellum slave owners in the deep south viewed their slaves as their people.

By design, it relies almost exclusively on secondary sources, but this is not a weakness.

Peter Kolchin – Wikipedia

Nice, quick introduction to Southern Slavery. There is a very large bibliography and you can tell that the author’s devoted an entire life’s work to achieve this kind of product.

Return to Book Page. Well worth the americaan. This is an amazing synthesis of other works on slavery in America, and the best, most accessible one-volume treatment of the subject.

Not to excuse it, but to help us better understand.