“American Slavery, 1619-1877” by Peter Kolchin gives an overview of the practice of slavery in America between 1619 and 1877. From the origins of slavery in the colonial period to the road to its abolition, the book explores the characteristics of slave culture as well as the racial mind-sets and development of the old South’s social structures.
This paper is divided in two sections. The first section observes the author’s vivid presentation of the slave-master psyche and relationship from the 17th to 19th century America. The second section examines the author’s choice of method in narration - how, apart from quoting statistics, …show more content…
Method of Narration
The book’s chronological format of the book provides a logical flow and allows the reader to see the manner by which the events of each day made tremendous impact on slavery. The bibliographical essay lists hundreds of books that pertain to the writing in a sectional format and describes particular topics covered in each book. This is easy to see in the straightforward and matter-of-fact way that the author discusses topics from whipping of slaves, to the selling of slaves resulting in the breakup of families.
Kolchin effectively used statistics in writing this book, in that, at the start of most sections or chapters the reader was able to ascertain the slave population and distribution, as well as growth rates and comparison to white population. Kolchin’s interpretation of this particular historic era shows that its’ history is primarily determined by individuals with economic motivations.
When the author wanted to explain the horrors of these situations, he used quotes from slaves