You are here

Books on Slavery and Freedom in the Making of America

Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, edited by David Blight (1845; Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2002) or any edition.

Solomon Northup, Twelve Years a Slave (1855). Any edition.

Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Written by Herself (1861). Edition by Jean Fagan Yellin or Nell Irvin Painter or any edition.

W.E.B. Du Bois, Black Reconstruction, 1860-1880 (1935; New York: The Free Press, 1999).

C.L.R. James, Black Jacobins: Toussaint L'Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution (1938; New York: The Dial Press/Vintage Books, 1963).

Winthrop D. Jordan, White Over Black: American Attitudes Toward the Negro, 1550-1812, 2nd. ed. (1968; Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, 2012).

Edmund Morgan, American Slavery, American Freedom: The Ordeal of Early Virginia (New York: W.W. Norton, 1975).

Thomas L. Webber, Deep Like the Rivers: Education in the Slave Quarter Community, 1831-1865 (New York: W.W. Norton and Co. 1978).

Sidney Mintz, Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History (New York: Penguin Books, 1986).

Eric Foner, Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877 (New York: Harper and Row, 1988).

M. I. Finley, Ancient Slavery and Modern Ideology (New York: Viking, 1980).

Orlando Patterson, Slavery and Social Death: A Comparative Study (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1982).

Cedric Robinson, Black Marxism: The Making of the Black Radical Tradition (London: Zed, 1983).

Sterling Stuckey, Slave Culture: Nationalist Theory and the Foundations of Black America (New York: Oxford University Press, 1987).

Ira Berlin, The Overthrow of Colonial Slavery: 1776-1848 (London: Verso, 1988).

Orland Patterson, Freedom: Freedom in the Making of Western Culture (New York: Basic Books, 1991).

David Roediger, The Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Making of the American Working Class (London: Verso, 1991).

Thomas C. Holt, The Problem of Freedom: Race, Labor, and Politics in Jamaica and Britain, 1832-1938 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992). Cover of "The Problem of Freedom" by Thomas C. Holt

Keith Bradley, Slavery and Society at Rome (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994).

Kathleen M. Brown, Good Wives, Nasty Wenches and Anxious Patriarchs: Gender, Race and Power in Colonial Virginia (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1996).

James Oliver Horton and Lois E. Horton, In Hope of Liberty: Culture, Community and Protest among Northern Free Blacks, 1700-1860 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996).

Robin Blackburn, The Making of New World Slavery: From the Baroque to the Modern,1492-1800 (London: Verso, 1997).

Ira Berlin, Many Thousands Gone: The First Two Centuries of Slavery in North America (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1998).

John Thornton, Africa and Africans in the Making of the Atlantic World, 1400-1800 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998).

Walter Johnson, Soul by Soul: Life Inside the Antebellum Slave Market (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1998).

Alan Gallay, The Indian Slave Trade: The Rise of the English Empire in the American South, 1670-1717 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002).

Francois Furstenberg, "Autonomy, Virtue, and Resistance In Early American Discourse," Journal of American History 89 (2003): 1295-1330. [img]Cover of "Saltwater Slavery"

Steven Hahn, A Nation Under Our Feet: Black Political Struggles in the Rural South, from Slavery to the Great Migration (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2003).

Stephanie Camp, Closer to Freedom: Enslaved Women and Everyday Resistance in the Plantation South (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2004).

Adam Rothman, Slave Country: American Expansion and the Origins of the Deep South (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2005).

Moon-Ho Jung, Coolies and Cane: Race, Labor and Sugar in the Age of Emancipation (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006).

Herbert S. Klein and Ben Vinson, III, African Slavery in Latin America and the Caribbean, 2nd ed (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007).

Susan O'Donovan, Becoming Free in the Cotton South (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2007).

Stephanie Smallwood, Saltwater Slavery: A Middle Passage from Africa to American Diaspora (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2007).

Thavolia Glymph, Out of the House of Bondage: The Transformation of the Plantation Household (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008).

Hannah Rosen, Terror in the Heart of Freedom: Citizenship, Sexual Violence, and the Meaning of Race in the Postemancipation South (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2009).

David Waldstreicher, Slavery's Constitution: From Revolution to Ratification (New York: Hill and Wang, 2009).

David Eltis and David Richardson, Atlas of the Transatlantic Slave Trade (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010).

Sandra Joshel, Slavery in the Roman World (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010).

Rebecca Goetz, The Baptism of Early Virginia: How Christianity Created Race (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012).

Walter Johnson, River of Dark Dreams: Slavery and Empire in the Cotton Kingdom (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2013).

Craig Wilder, Ebony & Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities (New York: Bloomsbury Press, 2013).

This list is also available as a PDF for download.