Journals Higher Education



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15 April 1999

576 Pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

ISBN: 9780195126716

Also Available As:


Bookseller Code (06)

The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Revolution, 1770-1823

David Brion Davis

"At a recent meeting of American historians a session was devoted to the question: 'Is intellectual history dead?' Those who replied in the affirmative should read David Brion Davis's new book. Like Mark Twain, they might discover that some reports of death are greatly exaggerated....As Davis's work demonstrates, good intellectual history is absolutely essential for an adequate understanding of the past; its proper subject is the way flesh-and-blood human beings make sense out of their world and try to gain some kind of mastery over it....It is obvious that Davis's interpretation was not imposed on his sources but resulted from a struggle to give them whatever structure and coherence seemed most consistent with the data itself and with the best recent historical work in the field. Nor does he attempt to explain all responses to the problem of slavery as ideological....Indeed the greatest strength of the book arises from its ability to provide a convincing general interpretation while doing full justice to a variety of historical experiences and perspectives....It is hard to imagine anyone going over the same ground for a long time."--George M. Fredrickson, The New York Review of Books