Great Stain Witnessing American Slavery

The Great Stain

Witnessing American Slavery

  • ISBN: 9781468315134
  • Publication Date: February 20, 2018


Price: $40.00

"Eyewitness testimonies to the culture and commerce of slavery . . . coupled with smart commentary" from an acclaimed historian. "Essential."(Kirkus Reviews)

In this important book, Noel Rae integrates firsthand accounts into a narrative history that brings the reader face to face with slavery's everyday reality. From the travel journals of sixteenth-century Spanish settlers who offered religious instruction and "protection" in exchange for farm labor, to the diaries of Reverend Cotton Mather, to Central Park designer Frederick Law Olmsted's travelogue about the "cotton states," to an 1880 speech given by Frederick Douglass, Rae provides a comprehensive portrait of the antebellum history of the nation. Most significant are the testimonies from former slaves themselves, ranging from the famous Solomon Northup to the virtually unknown Mary Reynolds, who was sold away from her mother as child.

Drawing on thousands of original sources, The Great Stain tells of a society based on the exploitation of labor and fallacies of racial superiority. Meticulously researched, this is a work of history that is profoundly relevant to our world today.

"Noel Rae expertly assembles the most consequential accounts from the era of the American slave trade. . . . A vivid and comprehensive picture." —Ibram X. Kendi, National Book Award-winning author of Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America

"Uniquely immediate, multivoiced, specific, arresting, and illuminating." —Booklist

"Many histories have been written of slavery in America, but far too few have let the participants, and particularly the victims, speak so directly for themselves. Rae has helped to fill that historical vacuum in this important work, and the voices are intense, eloquent, and haunting." —National Book Review

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