In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

?8?CIVIL WAR HISTORY argues that this view never inculcated docility into the "mind" of slaves. The second chapter examines the powerful threat of sale. Slaves, he argues, became very tied to land and family, creating a paradox of control and the mitigating effects of marriage and customary use of property. The next chapter describes the innumerable cruelties masters used to intimidate slaves. Exemplary punishments failed. Autonomous slave behavior included nightly drinking and gambling. Disputing Genovese, Jones contends that servant appeals for clemency did not strengthen paternalism among slaves but were pretenses used to avoid pain. In chapter four Jones examines techniques of division to rule. Fights among slaves, collaborators and informants, black foremen and drivers, and a desire for fashionable clothes were means masters employed to instill an avid individualism among bondspeople. While much of this undergirds Genovese's vision of paternalism, Jones notes a lack of class animosity between domestics and field workers and finds a fairly unified front among slaves. The chapter on slave religion is the most controversial. Jones takes a very dim view of Christianization of slaves, contending that church slaves were often informants. The self-interest of black spiritual leaders required them to discourage potentially revolutionary movements. Religion rarely ignited a revolutionary pursuit of freedom. Many slaves preferred conjurors to European ministers. Jones, however, does not pursue the Africanity of black religion in South Carolina as described in Margaret Creels's recent work on the Gullah. Although religion did not inspire revolt, blacks constantly pursued freedom . In the sixth chapter Jones takes a broad view of interplantation conspiracies . He contends that flight was not an effective means for individuals because of the trauma of punishment. Still, the memory of such challenges to white authority inspired others. In his requisite analysis of the Vesey Revolt , Jones abandons his harsh view of religion, showing how an amalgam of the radical potential of Christianity and disbelief came together in this major attack on slavery. The final chapter combines summary with a full attack on paternalism. Jones contends that paternalism was unilateral to the core and that slaveowners behaved paternally only if blacks were perfect slaves. He concludes that most African Americans felt no obligation to honor a bilateral contract between master and slave. The author's sharp, cogent analysis will challenge anyone interested in the never-ending debate over slavery. Graham Hodges Colgate University Elites and Masses: Political Structure, Communication, and Behavior in Ante-Bellum Georgia. By Donald A. DeBats. (New York and London: Garland Publishing Company, 1990. Pp. xxii, 517. $84.00.) BOOK REVIEWSl8l This rather long, overpriced book is a quantitative study of politics in Georgia before the War Between the States. DeBats, an associate professor of American Studies and Politics at Flinders University in Australia, has compiled and utilized an impressive mass of voting and political behavioral statistics . Unfortunately his analyses do not always relate appropriately to the other guideposts of Georgia history during this period. His statisticalpolitical study is largely forged in a vacuum, as though the figures had a life of their own. Sometimes this works; sometimes it does not. DeBats opens each chapter with assessments of interpretations relating to political theory on the national and even international levels. AU well and good, but his transitional passages, where he attempts to relate this theory to grass roots Georgia, only too often fall flat. The truth of the matter appears to be that DeBats, although apprised of the political winds blowing through Georgia, does not know a great deal more about the state. Typographical and/ or spelling errors relating to place names abound. The simple expedient of having someone versed in Georgia's physical and political layout proofread this work apparently did not occur to the author or his publisher. So the reader 's confidence in DeBats's conclusions fade in direct proportion to the number of careless, unnecessary errors detected. In addition, DeBats is unaware of much of the literature on the subject of antebellum Georgia politics. He seems ignorant of Mooney's work on Crawford ; recent critical assessments of Calhoun; Coulter's publications relating to the Trans-Oconee republic; Rabun's lifetime of work on Stephens; Parks's definitive political biography...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 180-182
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.