Friday, March 6, 2015

A Tale of Two Plantations

I have recently written about some new books on the history of slavery that I did not like. I just finished one that I really did like: A Tale of Two Plantations: Slave Life and Labor in Jamaica and Virginia by Stephen Dunn. It is a remarkable work, following the lives of hundreds of slaves on two large plantations: Mesopotamia in Jamaica and Mount Airy on the Northern Neck of Virginia, not far from where I live. The bloggers at the Junto devoted several days to discussion of the book and an interview with the author. One of the things that I most enjoyed was the description of the process of historical research. I thought this book was a great example of the historian taking his reader along with him to the archives, describing the difficulties in finding sources, the limits of those sources, and how he made certain inferences from those sources.  

There is also a website that goes with the book.

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