Social statistics of 1900 indicate that material quality of life was lower for most black Americans than under slavery. Kirkpatrick Sale marshals much forgotten evidence to cast this glorious part of American history in a realistic and critical light. Emancipation, yes. But as a military measure during a cruel war of invasion? Slavery once existed throughout the western hemisphere, but almost everywhere except the United States, it ended peacefully.
When did the human species turn against the planet that we depend on for survival? Human industry and consumption of resources have altered the climate, polluted the water and soil, destroyed ecosystems, and rendered many species extinct, vastly increasing the likelihood of an ecological catastrophe. How did humankind come to rule nature to such an extent? To regard the planet's resources and creatures as ours for the taking? To find ourselves on a seemingly relentless path toward ecocide?