392 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 9 halftones, 7 maps, notes, bibl., index
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-6319-7
Published: April 2021
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-6318-0
Published: April 2021
Paperback Available April 2021, but pre-order your copy today!
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Slaveholders' western ambitions culminated in a coast-to-coast crisis of the Union. By 1861, the rebellion in the South inspired a series of separatist movements in the Far West. Even after the collapse of the Confederacy, the threads connecting South and West held, undermining the radical promise of Reconstruction. Kevin Waite brings to light what contemporaries recognized but historians have described only in part: The struggle over slavery played out on a transcontinental stage.
Published with support provided by the William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas
About the Author
Kevin Waite is assistant professor of history at Durham University.
For more information about Kevin Waite, visit the Author Page.
“With a sure hand and an excellent pen, Kevin Waite examines how chattel slavery in the South intersected with multiple forms of labor coercion in the West to create a system of bondage spanning from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Understanding the interactions and dynamics between these different types of enslavement is essential, and Waite has shown us the way.”—Andrés Reséndez, University of California, Davis
"This is an innovative book that beautifully illustrates what more scholars are coming to recognize: that slaveholders did not cling to the past and resist change. Rather, they championed vast projects for technological and commercial expansion that placed them among the most imaginative and visionary capitalists of the period."--Stacey L. Smith, Oregon State University
“Kevin Waite has given us a highly provocative look at one of the more contested questions around one of the most pivotal periods in American history. Engagingly and smoothly written, West of Slavery should be read by all who are drawn to this disturbing but fascinating chapter in our national story.”—Elliott West, University of Arkansas
"Kevin Waite does a remarkable job interweaving numerous historical literatures--U.S. South, U.S. West, slavery, the era of the Civil War--to tell an important story that is larger than each of them, all in the most accessible and delightful prose."--Andrew J. Torget, University of North Texas