David Brion Davis is Sterling Professor of History Emeritus at Yale University and Director Emeritus of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition, also at Yale. Best known for his highly acclaimed books The Problem of Slavery in Western Culture, The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Revolution, 1770-1823, Slavery and Human Progress, and most recently, Challenging the Boundaries of Slavery, Davis has won a Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award for History and Biography, the Bancroft Prize, the Albert J. Beveridge Award, and the Bruce Catton Prize for Lifetime Achievement, among other honors.
"Davis is always judicious and thought-provoking while providing a well-written summation of 20th century scholarship for general readers. Essential."--R.T. Brown, CHOICE "Inhuman Bondage is, in essence, a retrospective: a brilliant and nuanced summing up of nearly fifty years' scholarship on slavery and abolition, much of it pioneered by Davis himself....It is a masterful study: broad in conception, bang up to date, consistently challenging, accessible and beautifully written."--John Oldfield, Patterns of Prejudice "Inhuman Bondage lives up to what readers expect from Davis: it is engagingly written and impressively broad in its scope and analysis."--Laurent Dubois, American Historical Reivew "A tour de force....Could not be more welcome....Davis follows the large story of slavery into all corners of the Atlantic world, demonstrating that hardly anyone or anything was untouched by it. He is particularly interested in the way ideas shaped slavery's development. But 'Inhuman Bondage' is not a history without people. Princes, merchants and reformers of all sorts play their role, though Davis gives pride of place to the men and women who suffered bondage. Drawing on some of the best recent studies, he not only adjudicates between the arguments, but also provides dozens of new insights, large and small, into events as familiar as the revolt on Saint-Domingue (now Haiti) and the American Civil War....An invaluable guide to explaining what has made slavery's consequences so much a part of contemporary American culture and politics."--Ira Berlin, The New York Times Book Review "Davis masterfully navigates the long history of slavery from ancient times to its abolition in the 19th century....Succeeds heroically in wrestling a vast amount of material from diverse cultures. The result is a sinewy book that combines erudition and everyday detail into a gripping, often surprising, narrative."--Fergus M. Bordewich, Wall Street Journal "David Brion Davis has been the preeminent historian of ideas about slavery in the Western world since the early modern period....Davis, a leading practitioner of intellectual and cultural history, has now gone far beyond the history of ideas and attempted to study New World slavery in all its ramifications, social, economic, and political, as well as intellectual and cultural....He convincingly demonstrates that slavery was central to the history of the New World."--George M. Fredrickson, The New York Review of Books "David Brion Davis, our greatest historian of slavery and abolition, weaves together here one of the central stories of modern world history--and does so with a power, authority, and grace that is his alone."--Edward L. Ayers, author of In the Presence of Mine Enemies: War in the Heart of America, 1859-1863 "Ranging from ancient Babylonia to the modern Western Hemisphere, David Brion Davis offers a concise history of slavery and its abolition that once again reminds us why he is the foremost scholar of international slavery. There is no more up-to-date account of this pivotal aspect of the world's history."--Eric Foner, author of Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877 "Impressive and sprawling....Davis's account is rich in detail, and his voice is clear enough to coax even casual readers through this dense history."--Publishers Weekly "In this gracefully fashioned masterpiece, David Brion Davis draws on a lifetime of scrupulous scholarship in order to trace the sources and highlight the distinctiveness of America's central paradox by situating it in both its New World and Western contexts. His powerful narrative is enhanced and deepened by persuasively rendered details. For students of slavery, and of American history more generally, it is simply indispensable. With all the makings of a classic, Inhuman Bondage is the glorious culmination of the definitive series of studies on slavery by one of America's greatest living historians."--Orlando Patterson, author of Rituals of Blood: Consequences of Slavery in Two American Centuries "No scholar has played a larger role in expanding contemporary understanding of how slavery shaped the history of the United States, the Americas and the world than David Brion Davis."--Ira Berlin, author of Many Thousands Gone: The First Two Centuries of Slavery in North America "Inhuman Bondage is a magisterial achievement, a model of comparative and interdisciplinary scholarship, and the best study we have of American slavery within the broader context of the New World. It is also a powerful and moving story, told by one of America's greatest historians."--John Stauffer, author of The Black Hearts of Men: Radical Abolitionists and the Transformation of Race "This brilliant and gripping history of slavery in the New World summarizes and integrates the scholarship of the past half-century. It sparkles with insights that only an innovator of David Brion Davis's caliber could command."--Robert William Fogel, author of The Slavery Debates, 1952-1990: A Retrospective