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Slavery and Freedom: An Interpretation of the Old South

Slavery and Freedom: An Interpretation of the Old South
Author: James Oakes
ISBN 13: 9780393317664
ISBN 10: 393317668
Edition: N/A
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: 1998-05-17
Format: Paperback
Pages: 268
List Price: $21.95

"The most valuable and stimulating general interpretation of the Old South to appear in recent years."—George M. Fredrickson

Publishers Weekly

In a rich, challenging set of interpretive essays, Oakes ( The Ruling Race ) views slavery in the Old South as a product of liberal capitalism, yet an institution wholly at odds with liberal concepts of freedom and society. He demonstrates how slavery hindered the growth of a class of independent small farmers; how the master-slave relationship affected the fabric of every other relationship in the South; how violence, sexual abuse, personal degradation and the breakup of families were basic components of the slave system. A historian at Northwestern University, Oakes shows that slave resistance during the Civil War fostered the Confederacy's internal collapse--a phenomenon slighted by most historians. The concluding chapter traces the postwar emergence of a new landlord-merchant class that wielded political power against landless Southerners, black and white. Oakes's rewarding synthesis strips away myths and misconceptions surrounding slavery and its aftermath. (Mar.)