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America's longest siege : Charleston, slavery, and the slow march toward Civil War /
Joseph Kelly.
imprint
New York : Overlook Press, 2013, c2013
description
384 p.
ISBN
159020719X, 9781590207192
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New York : Overlook Press, 2013, c2013
isbn
159020719X
9781590207192
contents note
The Stono Rebellion -- The good slave trader -- Liberty for some -- We the aristocrats -- The Denmark Vesey Rebellion -- The first secession -- The police state -- The lost generation -- War.
catalogue key
9026042
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 359-375) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2013-05-27:
Charleston, S.C., attempts to come to grips with the institution of slavery until the Union swoops in to solve the debate for it. Kelly, a professor of literature at the College of Charleston, examines the great ideological dispute that underpinned the Civil War by focusing on one town's long-running internal conflict regarding its moral distaste for and economic addiction to slave labor (Charleston was a major port for incoming slaves). Playing the Union's two-year siege of the city's harbor against what the author deems to be a far more disastrous siege-that of slavery on freedom-Kelly skillfully traces the development of the town's views on slavery while simultaneously relating attempts to break down or bulwark the institution. During the Great Awakening, preachers condemned slavery as morally reprehensible; others promoted it as a paternal form of mastery over supposedly appreciative, childlike slaves. Andrew Jackson ranked his slaves between his children and his horses. During the Civil War, Charleston finally-and futilely-banked on the " ‰positive good' theory of slavery" and its Christianizing effects. This localized history successfully avoids the pitfalls of regionalism, and is a valuable and lucid addition to the Civil War literature. 16 pages of illus. Agent: Molly Lyons, Joelle Delbourgo Associates. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Appeared in Library Journal on 2013-09-01:
Kelly (literature, Coll. of Charleston; Our Joyce) brings a literary sensibility to this vivid and engrossing study of slavery in and around one of its trading hubs, Charleston, SC, site of the first and longest Civil War siege and a hotbed of political, economic, religious, and moral debates about importing, owning, and trading slaves. The author explores the popular ideological arguments for and against slavery in the only American city (and state) in which black slaves outnumbered whites. Digging deeply into documentary evidence such as journals, letters, and printed public speeches to illuminate what both abolitionists and slave owners thought about using human capital to build wealth and maintain a power imbalance, Kelly frames the issue of slavery as a cultural battle within the South rather than of the South versus the North. Politically powerful pro-slavery "fire-eaters" such as John C. Calhoun and James Hammond claimed to use logic and reason in perpetuating the slave trade while painting abolitionists as dangerous idealists who failed to see that slavery was a "necessary evil" or even a "positive good." VERDICT Well written and finely detailed, Kelly's debut historical work is an important contribution to Southern antebellum history and is highly recommended to scholarly readers.--Douglas King, Univ. of South Carolina Lib., Columbia (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Reviews
Review Quotes
Advance praise for America's Longest Siege : "An elucidating study by a Charleston historian who sees the shadow of nullification still looming." -- Kirkus Review "Joseph Kelly's compelling new book, America's Longest Siege , vividly and accurately portrays Charleston as 'ground zero' in America's long struggle over slavery." --Robert N. Rosen, author of Confederate Charleston and A Short History of Charleston "Joseph Kelly has written a provocative and multilayered analysis of the siege mentality in Charleston and the South prior to the Civil War. Kelly, a professor of literature and American studies, brings a literary sensibility to the craft of history writing, and the result is a joy to read. In addition to the military aspects of siege during the years of civil war, America's Longest Siege addresses the siege of Africans and the siege of rhetoric, especially the ideological arguments of economic self-interest versus enlightened human rights. Original and illuminating, this book tackles profound questions of power and manipulation. This thoughtful and rewarding study should be taken seriously by scholars and enjoyed by general readers. It is an essential contribution to American history." -Orville Vernon Burton, Professor of History, Clemson University, and author of The Age of Lincoln
Advance praise for America's Longest Siege : "Joseph Kelly has written a provocative and multilayered analysis of the siege mentality in Charleston and the South prior to the Civil War. Kelly, a professor of literature and American studies, brings a literary sensibility to the craft of history writing, and the result is a joy to read. In addition to the military aspects of siege during the years of civil war, America's Longest Siege addresses the siege of Africans and the siege of rhetoric, especially the ideological arguments of economic self-interest versus enlightened human rights. Original and illuminating, this book tackles profound questions of power and manipulation. This thoughtful and rewarding study should be taken seriously by scholars and enjoyed by general readers. It is an essential contribution to American history." -Orville Vernon Burton, Professor of History, Clemson University, and author of The Age of Lincoln
This item was reviewed in:
Publishers Weekly, May 2013
Kirkus Reviews, August 2013
Library Journal, September 2013
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
From the earliest slave rebellions to the Nullification crisis to the final, tragic act of secession, Kelly captures the toxic mix of nationalism, paternalism, and unprecedented wealth that made Charleston the focus of the nationwide debate over slavery.
Main Description
In 1863, Union forces stormed the city of Charleston, South Carolina, and held the harbour hostage for nearly two years - the longest siege in the history of modern warfare. Yet a singular ideology of racism has laid a different sort of siege to the entire American South for two centuries prior. In this sweeping, provocative new history of the city and the times that ignited America's Civil War, author Joseph Kelly examines America's long struggle with slavery and the debates at its very centre.
Main Description
In 1863, Union forces surrounded the city of Charleston. Their vice-like grip on the harbor would hold the city hostage for nearly two years, becoming the longest siege in the history of modern warfare. But for almost two centuries prior, a singular ideology forged among the headstrong citizens of Charleston had laid a different sort of siege to the entire American South--the promulgation of brutal, deplorable, and immensely profitable institution of slavery. In America's Longest Siege , Joseph Kelly examines the nation's long struggle with its "peculiar institution" through the hotly contested debates in the city at the center of the slave trade. From the earliest slave rebellions to the Nullification crisis to the final, tragic act of secession that doomed both the city and the South as a whole, Kelly captures the toxic mix of nationalism, paternalism, and unprecedented wealth that made Charleston the focus of the nationwide debate over slavery. Kelly also explores the dissenters who tried--and ultimately failed--to stop the oncoming Civil War. Exhaustingly researched and also compulsively readable, America's Longest Siege offers an insightful new take on the war and the culture that made it inevitable.
Main Description
In 1863, Union forces surrounded the city of Charleston. Their vice-like grip on the harbor would hold the city hostage for nearly two years, becoming the longest siege in the history of modern warfare. But for almost two centuries prior, a singular ideology forged among the headstrong citizens of Charleston had laid a different sort of siege to the entire American South--the promulgation of brutal, deplorable, and immensely profitable institution of slavery.In America's Longest Siege, Joseph Kelly examines the nation's long struggle with its 'peculiar institution' through the hotly contested debates in the city at the center of the slave trade. From the earliest slave rebellions to the Nullification crisis to the final, tragic act of secession that doomed both the city and the South as a whole, Kelly captures the toxic mix of nationalism, paternalism, and unprecedented wealth that made Charleston the focus of the nationwide debate over slavery. Kelly also explores the dissenters who tried--and ultimately failed--to stop the oncoming Civil War.Exhaustingly researched and also compulsively readable, America's Longest Siege offers an insightful new take on the war and the culture that made it inevitable.
Table of Contents
Introductionp. 7
The Stono Rebellionp. 19
The Good Slave Traderp. 41
We the Petty Tyrantsp. 61
We the Aristocratsp. 91
The Denmark Vesey Rebellionp. 132
The First Secessionp. 170
The Police Statep. 204
The Lost Generationp. 230
Warp. 269
Conclusionp. 313
Notesp. 322
Bibliographyp. 359
Indexp. 376
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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