Reviews for In the Image of God : Religion, Moral Values, and Our Heritage of Slavery


Booklist Monthly Selections - #1 November 2001
Most of these essays are reviews of other writers' work. Although uneven in quality, they constitute an engaging introduction to historians concerned with "our heritage of slavery." An autobiographical introduction frames the book's five parts, which roughly coincide with the categories of the subtitle. Part 1 reviews biographies of Reinhold Niebuhr and Martin Luther King, then turns to Jewish-African American relations in the context of the controversy over Jewish involvement in the slave trade. Parts 2 and 3 discuss historians C. Vann Woodward and Eugene Genovese and consider what in one piece is called "the labyrinth of slavery." Further on in part 3 and in part 4, Davis initiates readers into a lively conversation among historians about relationships between capitalism and slavery and about the complex question of resistance. In part 5, Davis turns to the social construction of race and interrelations among race, class, and gender. He relentlessly resists simplification and maintains a global perspective, but his insistence on complexity doesn't make his work inaccessible. He proves a worthy guide for walking through the labyrinth with open eyes. ((Reviewed November 1, 2001)) Copyright 2001 Booklist Reviews

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Choice Reviews 2002 July
This collection of 26 previously published review essays by one of the most prolific and honored of America's senior scholars of slavery was written after 1986; many first appeared in the New York Review of Books. Davis (Yale Univ.) has been awarded the National Book Award, the Bancroft Prize, and the Pulitzer Prize for his philosophical and intellectual analyses of slavery in Western culture. An earlier essay collection was published in 1986 as From Homicide to Slavery. The current essays are grouped into five broad parts: "From Religion to Slavery"; "Historians of Two Generations"; "Origins"; "The Violence of Slavery as Experienced"; and "From the Construction of Race ... to the Feminist Revolution." This collection provides a thoughtful insight into the literature and issues of contemporary American slavery studies. General and undergraduate collections. Copyright 2002 American Library Association

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