February 23, 2009


Berlin, Ira, Generations of Captivity: A History of African-American Slaves (Cambridge & London: Belknap/Harvard U. Press, 2003).

Desmond, Adrian & James Moore, Darwin’s Sacred Cause: How a Hatred of Slavery Shaped Darwin's Views on Human Evolution ( New York: Boston & Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009).

Fogel, Robert William & Stanley L. Engerman, Time on the Cross: The Economics of American Negro Slavery (Boston & Toronto: Little, Brown, 1974).

Fogel, Robert William & Stanley L. Engerman, Time on the Cross: Evidence and Methods: A Supplement (Boston & Toronto: Little, Brown, 1974).

Foner, Eric, ed., Our Lincoln: New Perspectives on Lincoln and His World (New York & London: Norton, 2008).

Fredrickson, George M., The Black Image in the White Mind: The Debate on Afro-American Character and Destiny, 1817-1914 (New York: Harper & Row, 1971) ("During the nineteenth century, race-thinking emerged for the first time as a central current in Western thought. Previously whites had encountered other races in the course of 'expansion of Europe' and had characteristically subjugated, enslaved, or exterminated them. Out of these brutal and crassly exploitative contacts developed a set of attitudes about dark-skinned peoples which were 'racist,' if racism is regarded as synonymous with race prejudice and discrimination, but which might be considered preracist or protoracist, if one defines racism in a more restricted way--as a rationalized pseudoscientific theory positing the innate and permanent inferiority of nonwhite. Racism in this second sense had some roots in the biological thinking of the eighteenth century but did not come to fruition or exert great influence until well along in the nineteenth. In large part this book is a study of the development of intellectualized racist theory and ideology as it was applied directly and programmatically to the 'problem' posed in the white mind by the presence of millions of blacks in the United States. It is also, however, a study of countertendencies, an examination of racial concepts, images, and proposals that deviated in some ways from those associated with the 'hard' racism of the inherent-inferiority school. In attempting to describe and interpret the debate that developed between spokesmen for differing conceptions of Afro-American character and destiny, I have found that disagreement occurred within a narrowing consensus; for pseudoscientific racism or its equivalent tended during the period of this study to increase its hold on the American mind and to infect even those whites who resisted its full implications." Id. at xi-xii.).

Gopnik, Adam, Angels and Ages: A Short Book about Darwin, Lincoln, and Modern Life (New York: Knopf, 2009).

Holzer, Harold & Joshua Wolf Shenk, eds., In Lincoln’s Hand: His Original Manuscripts with Commentary by Distinguished Americans (New York; Bantam Books, 2009).

Konner, Melvin, The Jewish Body (Jewish Encounters) (New York: Nextbook/Schocken, 2009).

Jordan, Winthrop D., White Over Black: American Attitudes Toward the Negro, 1550-1812 (Chapel Hill: U. of North Carolina Press, 1958) ("My assumptions about the value of historical study are the same as those of most historians. A comprehension of the past seems to have two opposite advantages in the present: it makes us aware of how different people have been in other ages and accordingly enlarges our awareness of the possibilities of human experience, and at the same time it impresses upon us those tendencies in human beings which have not changed and which accordingly are unlikely to at least in the immediate future. Viewed from a slightly different vantage point, an understanding of the history of our own culture gives some inkling of the categories of possibilities within which for the time being we are born to live." "To say this is, I suppose, to make something of a claim for the value of studying current attitudes toward Negroes by taking, as they say, 'the historical approach.' What the historian contributes, inevitably, is a sense and appreciation of the important effect--perhaps even the great weight--of prior upon ensuing experience." Id. at ix.).

Kaplan, Fred, Lincoln: The Biography of a Writer (New York: Harper, 2008).

Keneally, Thomas, Searching for Schindler: A Memoir (New York: Doubleday, 2008).

McPherson, James M., Abraham Lincoln (New York: Oxford U. Press, 2009).

Voegeli, V. Jacque, Free But Not Equal: The Midwest and the Negro During the Civil War (Chicago & London: U. of Chicago Press, 1967).

Wood, Forrest G., Black Scare: The Racist Response to Emancipation and Reconstruction (Berkeley & Los Angeles: U. of California Press, 1968) ("The origins of backlash go far back in human history. The thesis of this study is not that modern racism began during the Civil War, but that the war and reconstruction polarized it for the first time into a psychological force of massive national proportions. As the radicals took the initiative in reconstruction, the Black Scare became the emotional counterpoint to the 'bloody shirt.' Emancipation had created a new class of Americans, a class that owned no land, controlled virtually none of the nation's wealth, was largely illiterate, and, most important of all, was easily distinguished by color. Humanitarians correctly recognized the government's responsibilities: to abandon the black man at this point would have been to condemn him to a state of permanent inequality. Racist demagogues, however, aware that most white Americans considered the Negro innately inferior, launched a white supremacy crusade through pamphlets, newspapers, books, leaflets, songs, pictures, and speeches, and accused the government of leading the nation down the road to ruin. It was the first white backlash." Id. at vii-viii.).

Woodward, C. Vann, American Counterpoint: Slavery and Racism in the North-South Dialogue (Boston: Little, Brown, 1971) ("History and circumstance have endowed Americans with a heritage rich in themes of counterpoint. They began to appear quite early in our history--as soon as paleface confronted redskin. And East-West (or Home-and-Frontier) counterpoint appeared before the North-South variation developed, just as there was a White-Red before there was a White-Black variation. The Old Settler-Immigrant counterpoint turned up about as soon as the second wave of immigrants landed. The Protestant-Catholic and the Gentile-Jewish themes were not long in following." "What America has lacked in the way of overt class conflict she has made up in indigenous tensions of her own peculiar heritage. Tensions of class were undoubtedly present and sometimes irrepressible, but Americans have characteristically thought and acted in terms of regional, religious, racial, or ethnic rather than class conflicts. In fact, Americans have often used them--nowhere oftener than in the South--to avoid or paper over class conflict. Their politics, their compromises, and their institutions have reflected these preoccupations and evasions in much of their history." Id. at 3-4.).