Engaging and accessibly written, Strange New Land explores the history of slavery and the struggle for freedom before the United States became a nation. Beginning with the colonization of North America, Peter Wood documents the transformation of slavery from a brutal form of indentured servitude to a full-blown system of racial domination. Strange New Land focuses on how Africans survived this brutal process--and ultimately shaped the contours of American racial slavery through numerous means, including:- Mastering English and making it their own- Converting to Christianity and transforming the religion- Holding fast to Islam or combining their spiritual beliefs with the faith of their masters- Recalling skills and beliefs, dances and stories from the Old World, which provided a key element in their triumphant story of survival- Listening to talk of liberty and freedom, of the rights of man and embracing it as a fundamental right--even petitioning colonial administrators and insisting on that right.Against the troubling backdrop of American slavery, Strange New Land surveys black social and cultural life, superbly illustrating how such a diverse group of people from the shores of West and Central Africa became a community in North America.
Oxford University Press; January 2003
- ISBN 9780198035930
- Read online, or download in secure EPUB format
- Title: Strange New Land
- Author: Peter H. Wood
Imprint: Oxford University Press
In The Press
"Wood offers a splendid synthesis of recent research for a lay reader's edification and, despite often horrific events, pleasure; the scholarly foundation upon which the book rests is hidden under its simple, straight-forward and graceful style. This is an amazing 'little' book, a really masterful distillation." --Publishers Weekly
"While his selection of facts and figures is illuminating throughout, what makes the work a particular pleasure are Wood's inspired discussions; he ably links facts and puts them into larger contexts for readers. An obscure chapter in American history, rendered vividly."--Kirkus Reviews
"Charts the arrival of blacks to this country between 1617-1776, exploring the earliest Africans in this country and their attempts to retain and rebuild a new culture in a strange land."--Children's Bookwatch
About The Author
Peter H. Wood is a professor of history at Duke University. Dr. Wood is the author of Black Majority: Negroes in Colonial South Carolina from 1670 through the Stono Rebellion, which was nominated for the National Book Award. He is the coauthor of Created Equal: A Social and Political History of the United States and Natives and Newcomers: The Way We Lived in North Carolina Before 1770.