The Sweetness of Life: Southern Planters at Home - Cambridge Studies on the American South (Paperback)
  • The Sweetness of Life: Southern Planters at Home - Cambridge Studies on the American South (Paperback)
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The Sweetness of Life: Southern Planters at Home - Cambridge Studies on the American South (Paperback)

(author), (editor)
£23.99
Paperback 308 Pages / Published: 05/10/2017
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This book examines the home and leisure life of planters in the antebellum American South. Based on a lifetime of research by the late Eugene Genovese (1930-2012), with an introduction and epilogue by Douglas Ambrose, The Sweetness of Life presents a penetrating study of slaveholders and their families in both intimate and domestic settings: at home; attending the theatre; going on vacations to spas and springs; throwing parties; hunting; gambling; drinking and entertaining guests, completing a comprehensive portrait of the slaveholders and the world that they built with slaves. Genovese subtly but powerfully demonstrates how much politics, economics, and religion shaped, informed, and made possible these leisure activities. A fascinating investigation of a little-studied aspect of planter life, The Sweetness of Life broadens our understanding of the world that the slaveholders and their slaves made; a tragic world of both 'sweetness' and slavery.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781316502891
Number of pages: 308
Weight: 460 g
Dimensions: 228 x 152 x 18 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
'In crafting The Sweetness of Life, the late Eugene D. Genovese drew upon a long, illustrious career of research into the lives of white and black southerners. Agree with his conclusions or not, no historian played a larger role in recovering the complicated, turbulent world of antebellum cotton slavery. Gracefully edited by Douglas Ambrose, this brilliant and insightful study serves as a capstone to Genovese's fifty years of distinguished scholarship. A masterful achievement.' Douglas R. Egerton, Le Moyne College
'Sparkling with insight and humanity, Eugene D. Genovese again delivers, this time posthumously. This book continues his examination of the slaveholder class, describing in detail the essential ways in which it created its own definition of hospitality, of manners, of leisure, and more as it rushed toward civil war. As usual for Genovese over a career of fifty years his writing is engaging and crystal clear, and the scholarship rich. The academy owes Genovese's devoted student, Douglas Ambrose, a debt of gratitude for shepherding this sweet, final bit of Genovese's oeuvre to publication. It is well worth the read.' Orville Vernon Burton, Clemson University, and author of The Age of Lincoln
'In this subtly provocative work, Genovese pulls back the curtain on the lives of leisure planters made on the backs of black labor. A fitting coda to a corpus of immeasurable impact, The Sweetness of Life offers crucial insight into the mind of the Old South's master class.' Kathleen Hilliard, Iowa State University

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