Monday, January 23, 2012

Just Finished Reading

I have had this book on my wishlist for several months now, but the price, even for a used copy, only seems to rise. So, I decided to get it through my local library's interlibrary loan program. And, I'm glad I did. Not that it was a bad book, because it wasn't. I really enjoyed reading it, but this collection of twelve essays, had a few that I was not particularly interested in.

As the last part of the subtitle indicates it covered "North American Slavery." That's a lot of ground to cover. Or, on the other hand, it is an easy way to cover a broad range of topics. There were a couple of articles on slave residences in the Caribbean islands and one on slave housing in Rhode Island in the 18th century. These particular articles were well written and interesting, but I would have preferred more coverage of the diverse slave quarters that appeared in the South; I especially would have liked something comparing urban and rural slave quarters.

Another unfortunate aspect of the book I felt was that the only Southern states that the book specifically covered were Virginia and Tennessee. Three articles were on Virginia and one on Tennessee. And, while the Tennessee article was good, it was quite short. I would also have liked an article that explored changes from slave quarters to sharecropping quarters during Reconstruction.

So, in short, I really enjoyed the book, but would have probably sought different articles if I have been editing it. I suppose it is just a case of personal taste.

On a scale of 1 to 5, I give it a 4.

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