Been in the Storm So Long: The Aftermath of Slavery

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Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award
Based on hitherto unexamined sources: interviews with ex-slaves, diaries and accounts by former slaveholders, this "rich and admirably written book" (Eugene Genovese, The New York Times Book Review) aims to show how, during the Civil War and after Emancipation, blacks and whites interacted in ways that dramatized not only their mutual dependency, but the ambiguities and tensions that had always been latent in "the peculiar institution."

Contents
1. "The Faithful Slave"
2. Black Liberators
3. Kingdom Comin'
4. Slaves No More
5. How Free is Free?
6. The Feel of Freedom: Moving About
7. Back to Work: The Old Compulsions
8. Back to Work: The New Dependency
9. The Gospel and the Primer
10. Becoming a People
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About the author

Leon F. Litwack, PhD is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Trouble in Mind: Black Southerners in the Age of Jim Crow, Been in the Storm So Long: The Aftermath of Slavery, and North of Slavery: The Negro in the Free States, 1790-1860. He is the recipient of the Parkman Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, two Distinguished Teaching Awards, and a National Endowment for the Humanities Film Grant, and is the Alexander F. and May T. Morrison Professor of American History Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Vintage
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Published on
Dec 15, 2010
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Pages
672
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ISBN
9780307773616
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
History / United States / Civil War Period (1850-1877)
Social Science / Discrimination & Race Relations
Social Science / Slavery
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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"The stain of Jim Crow runs deep in 20th-century America. . . . Its effects remain the nation's most pressing business. Trouble in Mind is an absolutely essential account of its dreadful history and calamitous legacy."  --The Washington Post

"The most complete and moving account we have had of what the victims of the Jim Crow South suffered and somehow endured."
--C. Vann Woodward

In April 1899, black laborer Sam Hose killed his white boss in self-defense. Wrongly accused of raping the man's wife, Hose was mutilated, stabbed, and burned alive in front of 2,000 cheering whites. His body was sold piecemeal to souvenir seekers; an Atlanta grocery displayed his knuckles in its front window for a week.

With the same narrative skill he brought to the Pulitzer Prize-winning Been in the Storm So Long, Leon Litwack constructs a searing history of life under Jim Crow. Drawing on new documentation and first-person accounts by blacks and whites, he describes the injustices--both institutional and personal--inflicted against a people. Here, too, are the black men and women whose activism, literature, and music preserved the genius of their human spirit. Painstakingly researched, important, and timely, Trouble in Mind recalls the bloodiest and most repressive period in the history of race relations in the United States--and the painful record of discrimination that haunts us to this day.

"Moving, elegant, earthy and pointed. . . . It forces us to reckon with the tragic legacies of freedom as well as of slavery. And it reminds us of the resilience and creativity of the human spirit."
--Steven Hahn, The San Diego Union-Tribune

"A chilling reminder of how simple it has been for Americans to delude themselves about the power of race."         --The Raleigh News & Observer


From the Trade Paperback edition.
In this major interpretive work Mr. Kammen argues that most attempt to understand America’s history and culture have minimized its complexity, and he demonstrates that, from our beginnings, what has given our culture its distinctive texture, pattern, and thrust is the dynamic interaction of the imported and the indigenous. He shows now, during the years of colonization, especially in the century from 1660 to 1760, many ideas and institutions were transferred virtually unchanged from Britain, while, simultaneously, others were being transformed in the New World environment.
 
As he unravels the tangled origins of our “bittersweet” culture, Mr. Kammen makes us see that unresolved contradictions in the American experience have functioned as the prime characteristic of our national style. Puritanical and hedonistic, idealistic and materialistic, peace-loving and war-mongering, isolationist and interventionist, consensus-minded and conflict-prone—these opposing strands go back to the roots of our history. He pursues them down through the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries—from the traumas of colonization and settlement through the tensions of the American Revolution—making clear both the relevance of this early experience to ninetieth and twentieth-century realities and the way in which America’ dualisms have endured and accumulated to produced such dilemmas as today’s poverty amidst abundance and legitimized lawlessness.

Far from being a study in social pathology, People of Paradox is a depiction of a complex society and am explanations of its development—a bold interpretation that gives an entirely new perceptive to the American ethos.
From one of our most distinguished historians, a new examination of the vitally important years of Emancipation and Reconstruction during and immediately following the Civil War–a necessary reconsideration that emphasizes the era’s political and cultural meaning for today’s America.

In Forever Free, Eric Foner overturns numerous assumptions growing out of the traditional understanding of the period, which is based almost exclusively on white sources and shaped by (often unconscious) racism. He presents the period as a time of determination, especially on the part of recently emancipated black Americans, to put into effect the principles of equal rights and citizenship for all.

Drawing on a wide range of long-neglected documents, he places a new emphasis on the centrality of the black experience to an understanding of the era. We see African Americans as active agents in overthrowing slavery, in helping win the Civil War, and–even more actively–in shaping Reconstruction and creating a legacy long obscured and misunderstood. Foner makes clear how, by war’s end, freed slaves in the South built on networks of church and family in order to exercise their right of suffrage as well as gain access to education, land, and employment.

He shows us that the birth of the Ku Klux Klan and renewed acts of racial violence were retaliation for the progress made by blacks soon after the war. He refutes lingering misconceptions about Reconstruction, including the attribution of its ills to corrupt African American politicians and “carpetbaggers,” and connects it to the movements for civil rights and racial justice.

Joshua Brown’s illustrated commentary on the era’s graphic art and photographs complements the narrative. He offers a unique portrait of how Americans envisioned their world and time.

Forever Free is an essential contribution to our understanding of the events that fundamentally reshaped American life after the Civil War–a persuasive reading of history that transforms our sense of the era from a time of failure and despair to a threshold of hope and achievement.
"The stain of Jim Crow runs deep in 20th-century America. . . . Its effects remain the nation's most pressing business. Trouble in Mind is an absolutely essential account of its dreadful history and calamitous legacy."  --The Washington Post

"The most complete and moving account we have had of what the victims of the Jim Crow South suffered and somehow endured."
--C. Vann Woodward

In April 1899, black laborer Sam Hose killed his white boss in self-defense. Wrongly accused of raping the man's wife, Hose was mutilated, stabbed, and burned alive in front of 2,000 cheering whites. His body was sold piecemeal to souvenir seekers; an Atlanta grocery displayed his knuckles in its front window for a week.

With the same narrative skill he brought to the Pulitzer Prize-winning Been in the Storm So Long, Leon Litwack constructs a searing history of life under Jim Crow. Drawing on new documentation and first-person accounts by blacks and whites, he describes the injustices--both institutional and personal--inflicted against a people. Here, too, are the black men and women whose activism, literature, and music preserved the genius of their human spirit. Painstakingly researched, important, and timely, Trouble in Mind recalls the bloodiest and most repressive period in the history of race relations in the United States--and the painful record of discrimination that haunts us to this day.

"Moving, elegant, earthy and pointed. . . . It forces us to reckon with the tragic legacies of freedom as well as of slavery. And it reminds us of the resilience and creativity of the human spirit."
--Steven Hahn, The San Diego Union-Tribune

"A chilling reminder of how simple it has been for Americans to delude themselves about the power of race."         --The Raleigh News & Observer


From the Trade Paperback edition.
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