Anthropology and History

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Linking the Histories of Slavery: North America and Its Borderlands

Edited by Bonnie Martin
Edited by James F. Brooks

This volume brings together scholars from anthropology, history, psychology, and ethnic studies to share their original research into the lesser-known stories of slavery in North America and reveal surprising parallels among slave cultures across the continent. Although they focus on North America, these scholars also take a broad view of slavery as a global historical phenomenon and describe how coercers and the coerced, as well as outside observers, have understood what it means to be a “slave” in various times and cultures, including in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The contributors explore the links between indigenous customs of coercion before European contact, those of the tumultuous colonial era, some of the less-familiar paradigms of slavery before the Civil War, and the hazy legal borders between voluntary and involuntary servitude today. The breadth of the chapters complements and enhances traditional scholarship that has focused on slavery in the colonial and nineteenth-century South, and the contributors find the connections among the many histories of slavery in order to provide a better understanding of the many ways in which coercion and slavery worked across North America and continue to work today.

Published in cooperation with the William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies, Southern Methodist University.


Independent scholar Bonnie Martin has published widely on the history of slavery and is a contributor to New Directions in Slavery Studies: Commodification, Community, and Comparison.

Ethnohistorian James F. Brooks served as the president and chief executive officer at the School for Advanced Research and is currently a professor of anthropology and history at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His many publications include Captives and Cousins: Slavery, Kinship, and Community in the Southwest Borderlands.


“A very readable, useful, and important volume on slavery across the North American borderlands. . . . Linking the Histories of Slavery should be on the shelves and syllabi of anyone interested in learning or teaching more on North American slave systems.”


Civil War Book Review

“An interesting addition to our understanding of slavery, not just in the American South before the Civil War, but in the entire North American continent.”


Civil War News

Published By School for Advanced Research Press

6 x 9 in. 422 pages 8 halftones, 2 maps, 1 chart