Nation Topics - Slavery in America | The Nation

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Nation Topics - Slavery in America


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An illustration from William Still’s The Underground Railroad (1872)

In Eric Foner’s Gateway to Freedom, the Underground Railroad is a network of dignity and defiance.

“The First Cotton Gin,” Harper’s Weekly, December 18, 1869

Capitalism’s newest critics offer a groundbreaking account of slavery, but does their economic history add up?


Multiple commentaries from the journal show a pattern of making sure white people aren’t taken for total villains when discussing slavery.

Walter Johnson

Walter Johnson reconsiders the connection between slavery and capitalism.

Fugitive African-Americans fording the Rappahannock River, 1862

David Brion Davis’s pathbreaking study of the problem of slavery.

Edward P. Jones

Edward P. Jones’s characters know that everything they’ve worked for might suddenly be taken from them.

Public sympathies and political outcomes over the Amistad Africans drifted in opposite directions.

Rev. J. Sella Martin

How social equality was used to discredit the egalitarian project of Reconstruction.

Union soldiers surrounding the Dictator, a 13-inch siege mortar cannon

Too many Americans have fallen prey to narratives that erase the role of slavery in the war’s origins and legacy.

From The First Book of Urizen (1794), by William Blake

Robin Blackburn's The American Crucible treats modern slavery as an international institution with national histories.


In one film, grateful black people; in the other, the vengeful ones.

December 25, 2012