Four Star review, originally posted here on April 16, 2015.
I liked this book overall, and definitely learned a lot. I recommend this wholeheartedly for everyone and their mother. I personally would have liked more info about aftermath and reconstruction, but I guess that’s such a big topic that really you’d need a whole 2nd book.
As I was reading I alternated between being fascinated and being bored- the boredom came at points that just seemed redundant. I also happened to be in the middle of the Civil War chapter of my other book at the same time, though, so that may have contributed to my Civil War overload. There were also a few pockets of Southern society that I would have liked hearing a bit more about, like the attitudes of people who were well off enough to have just one or two slaves, but I understand that the source material might just not exist for everyone.
My favorite parts were anytime they mentioned how bewildered the wealthy slaveowners were when they discovered that the people who they had enslaved were NOT happy and loyal. I could not get enough of these stories, because I’m just amazed by how much we humans can talk ourselves into believing things that are just so insane, and how dark of a place this phenomenon can lead us into. Well… and, not gonna lie, whenever we hit one of these stories I’d be like “HAHAHAHAha, take THAT, you evil bastards!