Catalogue


Why we left [electronic resource] : untold stories and songs of America's first immigrants /
Joanna Brooks.
imprint
Minneapolis : University of Minnesota Press, [2013]
description
ix, 213 pages ; 23 cm
ISBN
9780816681259 (hc : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
More Details
imprint
Minneapolis : University of Minnesota Press, [2013]
isbn
9780816681259 (hc : alk. paper)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
contents note
Introduction : brave men run -- No land of opportunity : folk ballads and the story of why we left -- Murder the brother who killed the tree : fratricide and the story of deforestation -- Sisters and a beaver hat : desire and the story of colonial commodity culture -- To sink it in the lonesome sea : betrayal and the story of indentured servitude -- Seduction of the house carpenter's wife: abandonment and the story of colonial -- Migration -- Epilogue : ballad of the laboring poor.
catalogue key
9765265
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Reviews
Review Quotes
"Joanna Brooks compellingly recreates the lives of British peasants who came to the New World. She traces their collective memories through the folk ballads sung by their descendants and collected diligently by scholars and revivalists. Riveting, harrowing, Why We Left will forever change the way we listen to 'folk music.'"--Charles McGovern, William and Mary
"Joanna Brooks compellingly recreates the lives of British peasants who came to the New World. She traces their collective memories through the folk ballads sung by their descendants and collected diligently by scholars and revivalists. Riveting, harrowing, Why We Left will forever change the way we listen to 'folk music.'"-Charles McGovern, William and Mary
" Why We Left draws creatively on early folk ballads of England and America to make a surprising, bold, and altogether brilliant contribution to our understanding of why people crossed the Atlantic to live in a strange new world. Haunting voices sing to us across the centuries a rich and disturbing 'history from below.'" --Marcus Rediker, author of The Amistad Rebellion: An Atlantic Odyssey of Slavery and Freedom
" Why We Left draws creatively on early folk ballads of England and America to make a surprising, bold, and altogether brilliant contribution to our understanding of why people crossed the Atlantic to live in a strange new world. Haunting voices sing to us across the centuries a rich and disturbing 'history from below.'" -Marcus Rediker, author of The Amistad Rebellion: An Atlantic Odyssey of Slavery and Freedom
This item was reviewed in:
PW Annex Reviews, June 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
Bowker Data Service Summary
Joanna Brooks's ancestors were among the earliest waves of emigrants to leave England for North America. They lived hardscrabble lives for generations, eking out subsistence in one place after another as they moved forever westward in search of a new life. Why, Brooks wondered, did her people and countless other poor English subjects abandon their homeland to settle for such unremitting hardship? The question leads her on a journey into a largely obscured dimension of American history.
Main Description
Joanna Brooks's ancestors were among the earliest waves of emigrants to leave England for North America. They lived hardscrabble lives for generations, eking out subsistence in one place after another as they moved forever westward in search of a new life. Why, Brooks wondered, did her people and countless other poor English subjects abandon their homeland to settle for such unremitting hardship? The question leads her on a journey into a largely obscured dimension of American history. With her family's background as a point of departure, Brooks brings to light the harsh realities behind seventeenth- and eighteenth-century working-class English emigration--and dismantles the long-cherished idea that these immigrants were drawn to America as a land of opportunity. American folk ballads provide a wealth of clues to the catastrophic contexts that propelled early English emigration to the Americas. Brooks follows these songs back across the Atlantic to find histories of economic displacement, environmental destruction, and social betrayal at the heart of the early Anglo-American migrant experience. The folk ballad "Edward," for instance, reveals the role of deforestation in the dislocation and emigration of early Anglo-American peasant immigrants. "Two Sisters" discloses the profound social destabilization unleashed by the advent of luxury goods in England. "The Golden Vanity" shows how common men and women viewed their own disposable position in England's imperial project. And "The House Carpenter's Wife" offers insights into the impact of economic instability and the colonial enterprise on women. From these ballads, tragic and heartrending, Brooks uncovers an archaeology of the worldviews of America's earliest immigrants, presenting a new and haunting historical perspective on the ancestors we thought we knew.
Main Description
Joanna Brooks's ancestors were among the earliest waves of emigrants to leave England for North America. They lived hardscrabble lives for generations, eking out subsistence in one place after another as they moved forever westward in search of a new life. Why, Brooks wondered, did her people and countless other poor English subjects abandon their homeland to settle for such unremitting hardship? The question leads her on a journey into a largely obscured dimension of American history. With her family's background as a point of departure, Brooks brings to light the harsh realities behind seventeenth- and eighteenth-century working-class English emigration-and dismantles the long-cherished idea that these immigrants were drawn to America as a land of opportunity. American folk ballads provide a wealth of clues to the catastrophic contexts that propelled early English emigration to the Americas. Brooks follows these songs back across the Atlantic to find histories of economic displacement, environmental destruction, and social betrayal at the heart of the early Anglo-American migrant experience. The folk ballad "Edward," for instance, reveals the role of deforestation in the dislocation and emigration of early Anglo-American peasant immigrants. "Two Sisters" discloses the profound social destabilization unleashed by the advent of luxury goods in England. "The Golden Vanity" shows how common men and women viewed their own disposable position in England's imperial project. And "The House Carpenter's Wife" offers insights into the impact of economic instability and the colonial enterprise on women. From these ballads, tragic and heartrending, Brooks uncovers an archaeology of the worldviews of America's earliest immigrants, presenting a new and haunting historical perspective on the ancestors we thought we knew.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Brave Men Run
No Land of Opportunity: Folk Ballads and the Story of Why We Left
Murder the Brother Who Killed the Tree: Fratricide and the Story of Deforestation
Two Sisters and a Beaver Hat: Desire and the Story of Colonial Commodity Culture
To Sink It in the Lonesome Sea: Betrayal and the Story of Indentured Servitude
Seduction of the House Carpenter's Wife: Abandonment and the Story of Colonial
Migration
Epilogue: Ballad of the Laboring Poor
Notes
Bibliography
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

This information is provided by a service that aggregates data from review sources and other sources that are often consulted by libraries, and readers. The University does not edit this information and merely includes it as a convenience for users. It does not warrant that reviews are accurate. As with any review users should approach reviews critically and where deemed necessary should consult multiple review sources. Any concerns or questions about particular reviews should be directed to the reviewer and/or publisher.

  link to old catalogue

Report a problem