The Ledger and the Chain: How Domestic Slave Traders Shaped America

We rated this book:


Many aspects of the New York Times 1619 Project are starting to get into the academia history community, and that is at times leading to highly anachronistic books that are of poor scholarship and more about trying to score a modern-day political point. This book is an excellent example of sloppy research and poor writing. I was intrigued by the idea: following a family involved in the slave trade within the United States across multiple generations from the founding to the Civil War. It had the making for an excellent project. Instead, the author turns it into a soapbox to denounce slavery at every turn, to denounce the family that got involved in the trade and calling them at times inhuman monsters; even though he does not take the time to explore why they might have gotten into the trade and the circumstances surrounding it. The author uses many words which would not have been understood at the time, and his righteous indignation he uses throughout the book sounds more like he is going after the current situation minorities face, rather than looking at the past as how it was, something historians used to be taught.

Reviewed By:

Author Joshua D. Rothman
Star Count /5
Format Hard
Page Count 512 pages
Publisher Basic Books
Publish Date 20-Apr-2021
ISBN 9781541616615 Buy this Book
Issue June 2021
Category History