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Reading for Foner's class has taken up most of my time. I haven't finished either of these because they weren't entirely assigned and I wanted to juggle the assignments better rather than power through. Also suspect future chapters for the class on the war itself.
Inhuman Bondage: The Rise and Fall of Slavery in the New World by David Brion Davis. This book is amazing. It's got everything. Slavery in Africa. Enslavement of Slavs in Spain and Italy. The origins of antiblack racism. The abolitionist movement in the British Empire. Haiti. It's like a candy store but with slavery.
The Republic in Crisis by John Ashworth. Started with grand claims about being a new interpretation that placed slave resistance at the center of the narrative. It hasn't lived up to the hype, though it does have a lot more intellectual history than the standard survey of the same material. It suffers badly from spending more time alluding to events so it can skip ahead to reaction to them rather than explaining what happened, which is fine for me but I suspect would leave readers taking it cold with barely a high school level understanding of the major issues. There's room for books like this, but William W. Freehling did it much better, if in about five times as many pages and without handling the Northern side.
The Counter-Revolution of Slavery: Politics and Ideology in Antebellum South Carolina by Manisha Sinha
The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery by Foner.
Probably not going to buy it:
The Civil War and Reconstruction: A Document Collection. Couldn't order a copy from the local bookstore and Amazon wants quite a lot for a thirteen year old collection of primary sources, some of which I know from lectures that I've read already. I iron-assed my way through the whole damned Appeal of the Independent Democrats, TINY print, and this thing only has an abridgment. If assignments were by document name, I wouldn't even think of getting it.
Need to get back to:
Bleeding Kansas: Contested Liberty in the Civil War Era by Nichole Etcheson.