Thursday, October 27

Book Review: Indian Slavery in Colonial America

Author: Alan Galley and others
Title: Indian Slavery in Colonial America
Genre: Nonfiction, History
Pages: 448
First Published: 2010
Where I Got It: Baker College - Flint Library

"European enslavement of American Indians began with Christopher Columbus’s arrival in the New World. The slave trade expanded with European colonies, and though African slave labor filled many needs, huge numbers of America’s indigenous peoples continued to be captured and forced to work as slaves. Although central to the process of colony-building in what became the United States, this phenomena has received scant attention from historians. Indian Slavery in Colonial America, edited by Alan Gallay, examines the complicated dynamics of Indian enslavement. How and why Indians became both slaves of the Europeans and suppliers of slavery’s victims is the subject of this book. The essays in this collection use Indian slavery as a lens through which to explore both Indian and European societies and their interactions, as well as relations between and among Native groups."

This is slightly an odd book to review but not an odd book for me to read. I picked this up for my midterm paper which I just turned in Tuesday night. The topic I picked was the Native American Slave Trade in the colonies. I was so relieved to find this book amongst all the books at the Baker College library. I found this such an interesting read, I read even the stuff I didn't need for my paper.

This book is actually a book filled with individual articles made by different authors and put together by Alan Galley. I found the different voices make the book even better. Each author showed different views and viewpoints of this forgotten Slave Trade. However, each pretty much ended saying something like, "there is still much more to know about this slave trade." It's true. It was so hard to find concrete information on this slave trade and that's why I was jumping for joy when I found this book.

I will admit, though, I found some of the articles a little boring...and if I didn't need that information I would just skim it and move on. It is an information driven book so its not meant to really be entertaining. The only thing that sparks the interest part of the brain is the topic its talking about. I was startled that being part Native myself, I didn't know a lot about the slave trade that affected my ancestors too. I knew that there was a Slave Trade but I didn't know any details or figures.

All-in-all, I'll forever love Alan Galley and his pack of authors for creating this book. I almost had to go to my professor with my tail between my legs and ask to switch topics. Even though this book may seem boring to even history nerds (like me), I read it and liked it. The information was brilliant and the each different article brought the past to life. Out of five stars, I'll grant this one 4 stars. It would be 3.6 but I don't give decimals.


PS- Happy Birthday 21st bday Anee! You are the best! ^.^



Blodeuedd said...

I do not know much..ok make that nothing about Indians as slaves, but then everyone has more or less been slaves all over the world at one point in time. So it sure does not surprise me

Carole Rae said...

Exactly....I wasn't surprised either.