The Price of Liberty
African Americans and the Making of Liberia
By Claude Andrew Clegg III
344 pp., 5.75 x 9.25, 39 illus., 4 maps, 7 figs., notes, bibl., index
eBook ISBN: 978-0-8078-9558-0
Published: September 2009
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8078-5516-4
Published: April 2004
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Awards & distinctions
A 2004 Choice Outstanding Academic Title
For almost a century, Liberian emigration connected African Americans to the broader cultures, commerce, communication networks, and epidemiological patterns of the Afro-Atlantic region. But for many individuals, dreams of a Pan-African utopia in Liberia were tempered by complicated relationships with the Africans, whom they dispossessed of land. Liberia soon became a politically unstable mix of newcomers, indigenous peoples, and "recaptured" Africans from westbound slave ships. Ultimately, Clegg argues, in the process of forging the world's second black-ruled republic, the emigrants constructed a settler society marred by many of the same exclusionary, oppressive characteristics common to modern colonial regimes.
About the Author
Claude A. Clegg III is associate professor of history at Indiana University at Bloomington. He is author of An Original Man: The Life and Times of Elijah Muhammad.
For more information about Claude Andrew Clegg III, visit the Author Page.
"Clegg . . . reveal[s] how cherished myths about Africa and America ran aground on the shoals of political and cultural realities."--The Chronicle of Higher Education
"A welcome addition to the literature on the colonization movement . . . the most comprehensive and scholarly study that has yet been undertaken on the subject. . . . Essential reading for everyone interested in the colonization movement of Liberian history."--American Historical Review
"An engaging and thoroughly researched account of how just over 2,000 North Carolinian blacks left for Africa between 1820 and 1893 and of the role they played in the establishment of the nascent state of Liberia. . . . Brilliant."--Diaspora
"This book about the black North Carolinian's emigration to Liberia is an excellent inquiry into the socioeconomic life of a people, who until now, seem to have had no history."--International Journal of African Historical Studies
"Conceptually and tangibly authoritative."--Journal of American History
"Elegantly written and extensively documented with Liberian and North Carolinian archival materials, Clegg offers a fascinating view of the origins of Liberia as well as some intriguing clues to its current dilemmas."--Foreign Affairs