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The paper discusses the view of critics that Berlin, in his book "Many Thousands Gone: The First Two Centuries of Slavery in North America", de-emphasizes the horrors of slavery. The paper looks at how Berlin argues that slaves in the earliest centuries of the continent enjoyed far more rights than slaves in later centuries did. The paper posits that Berlin makes good points throughout his text, but they seem to contradict most other writings on slavery. The paper further asserts that to de-emphasize the cruel treatment of slaves does a disservice to slaves and their ancestors.
From the Paper:"Critics say Berlin's book de-emphasizes the horrors of slavery, but in fact, it relates a new history of slavery in the first two centuries of North American history, and indicates that slavery did indeed alter and transform during this time. For example, the author opens with a discussion of slaves sold to the colonists in Jamestown in 1619, something that is not well known in the history of slavery, and makes it clear that slavery in the earliest history of the continent was not about race; so much as it was about servitude. Blacks labored alongside white indentured servants (slaves of another sort), and they enjoyed far more rights than slaves in later centuries did."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Berlin, Ira. Many Thousands Gone: The First Two Centuries of Slavery in North America. Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press, 1998.
- Bland, Sterling Lecater, ed. African American Slave Narratives: An Anthology. Vol. 1. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2001.
- Rabe, Stephen G. "Slavery in the Development of the Americas." The Historian 67.4 (2005): 749+.
Cite this Book Review:
"Many Thousands Gone" (2010, December 24) Retrieved May 18, 2021, from https://www.academon.com/book-review/many-thousands-gone-146283/
""Many Thousands Gone"" 24 December 2010. Web. 18 May. 2021. <https://www.academon.com/book-review/many-thousands-gone-146283/>