Pulitzer Prize, General Nonfiction, 2009
In this groundbreaking historical expose, Douglas A. Blackmon brings to light one of the most shameful chapters in American history: an Age of Neoslavery that thrived from the aftermath of the Civil War through the dawn of World War II.
Using a vast record of original documents and personal narratives, Douglas A. Blackmon unearths the lost stories of slaves and their descendants who journeyed into freedom after the Emancipation Proclamation and then back into the shadow of involuntary servitude shortly thereafter.
By turns moving, sobering, and shocking, this unprecedented account reveals the stories of those who fought unsuccessfully against the re-emergence of human labor trafficking, the companies that profited most from neoslavery, and the insidious legacy of racism that reverberates today.
©2009 Douglas A. Blackmon (P)2010 Audible, Inc.
“Shocking....Eviscerates one of our schoolchildren's most basic assumptions: that slavery in America ended with the Civil War.” (The New York Times)
“The genius of Blackmon's book is that it illuminates both the real human tragedy and the profoundly corrupting nature of the Old South slavery as it transformed to establish a New South social order.” (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
There are some very memorable moments, but what really counts is learning about the situation of blacks in America from the end of the Civil War until World War II and after. This was a part of US history I had not known and it changed my view not only of African Americans but of the country as a whole.
No, but he is excellent.
Yes, it sure did. I am still reeling.
I cannot recommend this book too strongly. Anybody who lives in the US or has anything to do with the US (which is just about everyone in the world) must read this to have a better understanding of the country, its evolution, and its people. Foreigners not well acquainted with American history, however, must not imagine that this is all there is to it: there is much in that extraordinary story that people from other cultures cannot imagine, though this book recounts a very important and little known chapter.
There isn't a single anecdote or account in this book that doesn't deserve to be told. They are mostly brutally depressing and shameful. But halfway through the book, I didn't really feel like I was learning anything new. If you read the title and subtitle and question the validity or mechanics in anyway, especially if you are an American, I'd highly recommend reading this, and maybe the prolonged discomfort of the repetitive, devastating stories is part of the author's intent.
No. It's not entertaining. The stories are seared into one's memory.
No favorite character
Suntrust revealing to its employees that the Bank's starting equity was largely the result of massive profits from slave labor well into the 1900s.
Same as book
Shocking. Powerful. Insightful. Must Listen American History
The Race Beat
A fascinating and frightening chapter in US history that I knew nothing about.
This book tells about a piece of our nation's past that many people do not know about. The author puts the story together well, and it is well researched.
The narrator mispronounced too many words -- the most frustrating mispronunciation was that of W.E.B. DuBois -- he pronounced the name DuBwah. Every time I heard the name mispronounced, I cringed. Someone who is going to narrate a work of history should really check out how to pronounce the names of famous historical figures before he begins.
There already is a film coming out -- I will have to see what the tag line is.
This book is a very interesting and thorough overview of a very dark chapter in our history. Unfortunately, it is more proof that the federal government generally acts on behalf of the weak long after suffering and abuse has occurred.
I expected this book to rehash the well-known civil rights abuses that took place between the abolition of slavery and the Civil Rights Movements a hundred years later, but in fact it did so much more than that: it taught me things about US history and slave history in the US which I had never known.
It's a terrible, intimate portrait of one family and the economic and political situation which encompassed them in a whirlwind of oppression. Set against the backdrop of their lives and struggles, the book meticulously documents how slavery continued "underground" after emancipation on a vast, all-encompassing scale through the various machinations of the US legal and corporate systems, protected at every level under the broad umbrella of "progress", how the North turned a blind eye, and on and on.
At its heart this is a very important, overlooked part of American history whose legacy continues through the present day; it was this post-bellum period which sowed the seeds of contemporary race politics and relations in the US more even than slavery itself. It created a blueprint for future generations of white men for how they can keep men (especially) of color on their knees even beyond the Civil Rights Movement, with full protection of the the legal system and corporate America. This is the post-emancipation history we never learned in school.
Although not intended as such, this book is an excellent prequel to The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander, which views the mass incarceration of black men as an extension of Jim Crow laws in modern "color-blind" America.
This was my first Audible stab at non-fiction and I must say that I found the subject fascinating. The author tells of his thorough search into the depths of a murky subject that should come to light in this age of consciousness. His lists of names of souls and their individual demises, however, got a bit tedious and rather reminded me of the "begat" sections in Genesis and Exodus of the bible. I understand that he wanted to list the names of the victims though - to kind of honour their existence and the cruelties they suffered. Not a light subject, and, as a Canadian, I was totally oblivious of these atrocities that took place up until WWII.
The research effort behind it and the fairly impartial way it was presented
Many terrible accounts of slaves being greatly abused both physically and mentally. But balanced with some accounts of the circumstances that lead to these events.
Biggest impact for me was a greater appreciation for the value of conservative as opposed to radical change. Anybody who thinks that large problems can ever be solved with an overnight revolution or such should read this book and see what the emancipation of Negroes after the Civil war did to many in the African population.
the in-depth of what happen and how it somehow got lost in time until now...
Its sad that this was allowed to happen from the President all the way down to normal people who called themselves Christians...What I don't understand is: Jewish People got a country, Native Americans got land of their own without Government control, and Black Americans got nothing for all the abused they received and continue to take to this day. Now after listening to this I see why Black American don't own or control any part of there life in American, because if they do it can all be taken away at a blink of an eye with laws the ruling class can place on them at any point in time. As a Black American I could not understand why we have been in this land for more than 400+ years and have nothing to show for it, other than government welfare and drugs to show our status as Americans in the eyes of the ruling class. I kept asking how did we get here with the masterful minds and hard willing people to endure all that pain and suffering of slavery and Jim Crow laws. The rules of the land can keep you down, yes some Black Americans can slip by and make it, but if a lot start to move then the ruling class change the rules to continue to hold back the many.
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