Long History of Slavery, Resistance, & Abolition Book Recommendations

Last week the library welcomed Professor Marcus Rediker, distinguished professor of Atlantic History at the University of Pittsburgh, for a virtual presentation.  His talk, The Long History of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition touched on many topics related to slavery, the slave trade, the middle passage, resistance, and abolition.

His talk only scratched the surface of a subject whose repercussions are still being felt today and which scholars have wrestled with for decades. The library owns several books authored by Prof. Rediker and other scholars that can help you understand more about slavery, resistance, and abolition. 

By Marcus Rediker

The Slave Ship: A Human History


The Amistad Rebellion: An Atlantic Odyssey of Slavery and Freedom


The Fearless Benjamin Lay: The Quaker Dwarf Who Became the First Revolutionary Abolitionist


Prof. Rediker also made a recommendation of a book that has inspired and influenced his own thinking and his work on slavery. The library does not own this title, however it can be requested through OhioLINK.

The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L’Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution


The library has many excellent books about slavery and its history available to borrow. Following is a selection of titles you can pick up from the library.

The Slave’s Cause: A History of Abolition by Manisha Sinha


No Property in Man: Slavery and Antislavery at the Nation’s Founding by Sean Wilentz


The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism by Edward E. Baptist


River of Dark Dreams: Slavery and Empire in the Cotton Kingdom by Walter Johnson


The Empire of Necessity: Slavery, Freedom, and Deception in the New World by Greg Grandin


John Brown, Abolitionist: The Man Who Killed Slavery, Sparked the Civil War, and Seeded Civil Rights by David Reynolds


Arguing About Slavery: The Great Battle in the United States Congress by William Lee Miller


Girl in Black and White: The Story of Mary Mildred Williams and the Abolition Movement by Jessie Morgan-Owens


Freedom: The Overthrowing of the Slave Empires by James Walvin


Elusive Utopia: The Struggle for Racial Equality in Oberlin, Ohio by Gary Kornblith


The Portable Nineteenth-Century African American Women Writers by Hollis Robbins and Henry Louis Gates, Jr.