Friday, June 12, 2009

Summer Reading Challenge Book Review 3

I have finished my third book for this reading challenge! The book I read this time was Soul By Soul: Life Inside The Antebellum Slave Market by Walter Johnson (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999). Like the two previous books I read and reviewed, this book was on the reading list for my fall history class.

As you can tell from the book's title, the book focuses on the slave market in the South between 1810 and 1865. Most of the focus is on the New Orleans slave market, but the author does focus on the internal slave trade between the Upper and Lower South. The author also focuses on the slave masters and slaves thoughts and experiences with the slave trade and slavery. Additionally, he also explores how slave traders were able to convert human beings into items, and the beliefs of those who bought the slaves.

Although I have read about slavery in the United States before, I did not have a complete comprehension of the evils of slavery. I knew slavery was evil, but I did not realize or comprehend how bad it was until I read this book. For me, this book brought the experience of slavery to life more than anything else I had read before, and I was able to picture what life was like to live in a society with slavery, either as a slave or someone who was free. This book brought an aspect of history to life that I had read before and thought I understood. If you want to learn more about slavery in the United States, I highly recommend that you read this book.

1 comment:

Trish said...

Wow! You are reading such fascinating books for the challenge. Living in the South (Texas), we have learned about slavery since we were little kids and it is such a heartbreaking and horrendous moment of American history (although slavery wasn't limited to the US). Have you read Frederick Douglas's autobiography? He was a freed slave and his book shows a really interesting perspective of what life was like for him and others.

Good luck with your class!