But The Cat Himself Knows

Slavery in the Ante-Bellum South - A Historiographical Survey by Hugh Tulloch.

In a field where too many PhDs pursue too few tenured academic posts, tough competition insists on publish or be damned. The academic profession is a credit to the American enterprise system, and a mixture of hucksterism and genuine intellectual engagement makes for long book-lists and a healthy, almost rampant, revisionism. Nowhere more so than in the study of the history of slavery. The acceleration of interest in slavery along with the acceleration of the Civil Rights movement in America was no coincidence, and indeed it would be possible to synchronise fairly closely the course of events with the course of publications since the early 1950s. The two movements had similar aims: Civil Rights aimed to integrate the Black fully into American life; and the historian with his acute sense of a 'usable past' (many academics played an active and honourable role in the movement for Black advancement) sought to write the neglected Black man into American history.

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