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A list of key readings about Slavery.
Please sort and annotate in a user-friendly manner. For formatting, consider using automated reference wikification.


  • Drescher, Seymour, and Stanley L. Engerman eds. A Historical Guide to World Slavery (1998), 456pp excerpt and text search
  • Finkelman, Paul, and Joseph Miller eds. Macmillan Encyclopedia of World Slavery (1998)
  • Hinks, Peter, and John McKivigan, eds. Encyclopedia of Antislavery and Abolition. 2007, 2 vol 795pp; isbn 978-0-313-33142-8
  • Miller, Randall M., and John David Smith, eds. Dictionary of Afro-American Slavery (1988) 862pp; authoritative articles by scholars
  • Patterson, Orlando. Slavery and Social Death: A Comparative Study 1982
  • Phillips, William D. Slavery from Roman Times to the Early Atlantic Slave Trade 1984
  • Rodriguez, Junius P. ed. The Historical Encyclopedia of World Slavery (1997)
  • Rodriguez, Junius P., ed. Encyclopedia of Slave Resistance and Rebellion. 2007, 2 vol, 750pp isbn 0-313-33271-1.)
  • Rodriguez, Junius P. ed. Slavery in the United States: A Social, Political, and Historical Encyclopedia ( 2 vol 2007)
  • Rodriguez, Junius P. Slavery in the Modern World: A History of Political, Social, and Economic Oppression (2008) 778pp


  • Davis, David Brion. Slavery and Human Progress (1984).
  • Davis, David Brion. The Problem of Slavery in Western Culture 1966, intellectual history of anti-slavery
  • Engerman, Stanley L. Terms of Labor: Slavery, Serfdom, and Free Labor. Stanford University Press. 1999. online edition
  • Hellie, Richard. Slavery in Russia, 1450-1725 (1982)

Africa and Middle East

  • Campbell, Gwyn. The Structure of Slavery in Indian Ocean Africa and Asia Frank Cass, 2004; online edition
  • Eldredge, Elizabeth A., and Fred Morton; Slavery in South Africa: Captive Labor on the Dutch Frontier Westview Press, 1994 online edition
  • Lovejoy, Paul. Transformations in Slavery: A History of Slavery in Africa Cambridge UP, 1983
  • Miers, Suzanne, and Igor Kopytoff, eds., Slavery in Africa: Historical and Anthropological Perspectives 1977
  • Toledano, Ehud R. Slavery and Abolition in the Ottoman Middle East U. of Washington Press, 1998 online edition


  • Cuffel, V. "The Classical Greek Concept of Slavery", Journal of the History of Ideas, 27 (1966), 3, 323-42 in JSTOR
  • Finley, Moses, ed. Slavery in Classical Antiquity (1960)
  • Wiedemann, Thomas. Greek and Roman Slavery 1981 online edition

West Indies, Latin America

  • Aimes, Hubert Hillary Suffern. A History of Slavery in Cuba, 1511 to 1868 (1907), 298 pages full text online
  • Butler, Kathleen Mary. The Economics of Emancipation: Jamaica & Barbados, 1823-1843 (1995) online edition
  • Davis, David Brion. Inhuman Bondage: The Rise and Fall of Slavery in the New World (2006)
  • Eltis, David. "Europeans and the Rise and Fall of African Slavery in the Americas: An Interpretation," American Historical Review 98 (Dec. 1993): 1399-1423. in JSTOR
  • Green, William A. British Slave Emancipation: The Sugar Colonies and the Great Experiment, 1830-1865 Oxford UP, 1976
  • Higman, Barry W. Slave Population and Economy in Jamaica, 1807-1834 (1995) 330 pp. online edition
  • Klein, Herbert S. African Slavery in Latin America and the Caribbean Oxford University Press, 1988 online edition
  • Stinchcombe, Arthur L. Sugar Island Slavery in the Age of Enlightenment: The Political Economy of the Caribbean World Princeton University Press, 1995 online edition
  • Walvin, James. Black Ivory: Slavery in the British Empire (2nd ed 2001) online edition
  • Ward, J. R. British West Indian Slavery, 1750-1834 Oxford UP 1988

United States

Primary Sources

  • Berlin, Ira, Joseph P. Reidy, and Leslie S. Rowlands, eds. Freedom: A Documentary History of Emancipation, 1861-1867 5 vol Cambridge University Press, 1982. primary sources
  • Blassingame, John W., ed. Slave Testimony: Two Centuries of Letters, Speeches, Interviews, and Autobiographies.Louisiana State University Press, 1977.
  • Kemble, Fanny. Journal of a residence on a Georgian plantation in 1838-1839 (1863) complete edition online free
  • Rawick, George P., ed. The American Slave: A Composite Autobiography . 19 vols. Greenwood Publishing Company, 1972.
  • Rose, Willie Lee, ed. A Documentary History of Slavery in North America (1976) 554 pages


  • Baptist, Edward E. and Camp, Stephanie M. H., eds. New Studies in the History of American Slavery. U. of Georgia Press, 2006. 306 pp.
  • Ira Berlin. Many Thousands Gone: The First Two Centuries of Slavery in North America. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1998. general survey
  • Ira Berlin and Ronald Hoffman, eds. Slavery and Freedom in the Age of the American Revolution University Press of Virginia, 1983. essays by scholars
  • Fogel, Robert W. Without Consent or Contract: The Rise and Fall of American Slavery W.W. Norton, 1989. by Nobel Prize winner in economics online edition
  • Genovese, Eugene D. Jordan, Roll: The World the Slaves Made Pantheon Books, 1974. one of the most influential studies
  • Genovese, Eugene D. The Political Economy of Slavery: Studies in the Economy and Society of the Slave South (1967)
  • Genovese, Eugene D. and Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, Fruits of Merchant Capital: Slavery and Bourgeois Property in the Rise and Expansion of Capitalism (1983)
  • Higginbotham, Jr., A. Leon In the Matter of Color: Race and the American Legal Process: The Colonial Period. Oxford University Press, 1978.
  • Horton, James Oliver and Horton, Lois. Slavery and the Making of America. Oxford U. Press, 2005. 254 pp.
  • Kolchin, Peter. American Slavery, 1619-1877 Hill and Wang, 1993. short survey
  • Morgan, Edmund S. American Slavery, American Freedom: The Ordeal of Colonial Virginia W.W. Norton, 1975. online edition
  • Morgan, Kenneth, ed. Slavery in America: A Reader and Guide. U. of Georgia Press, 2005. 456 pp.
  • Morris, Thomas D. Southern Slavery and the Law, 1619-1860 U. of North Carolina Press, 1996. online edition
  • Phillips, Ulrich Bonnell. American Negro Slavery: A Survey of the Supply, Employment and Control of Negro Labor as Determined by the Plantation Regime (1918), the first major study; criticized as too friendly toward the owners. online edition
  • Ransom, Roger L., and Richard Sutch. One Kind of Freedom: The Economic Consequences of Emancipation Cambridge University Press, 1977.
  • Robinson, Armstead L. Bitter Fruits of Bondage: The Demise of Slavery and the Collapse of the Confederacy, 1861-1865. U. Press of Virginia, 2005. 326 pp.
  • Stampp, Kenneth M. The Peculiar Institution: Slavery in the Ante-Bellum South (1956),
  • Tadman, Michael. Speculators and Slaves: Masters, Traders, and Slaves in the Old South University of Wisconsin Press, 1989.
  • Jenny B. Wahl. "Slavery in the United States" in EH.NET (2004) online
  • White, Shane and White, Graham. The Sounds of Slavery: Discovering African American History through Songs, Sermons, and Speech. Beacon, 2005. 241 pp.
  • Wood, Betty. Slavery in Colonial America, 1619-1776. Rowman and Littlefield, 2005. 131 pp.

State and local studies

  • Berlin, Ira and Harris, Leslie M., ed. Slavery in New York. New Press, 2005. 403 pp.
  • Campbell, Randolph B. An Empire for Slavery: The Peculiar Institution in Texas 1821-1865 Louisiana State University Press, 1989.
  • Fields, Barbara J. Slavery and Freedom on the Middle Ground: Maryland During the Nineteenth Century Yale University Press, 1985.
  • Follett, Richard. The Sugar Masters: Planters and Slaves in Louisiana's Cane World, 1820-1860. Louisiana State U. Press, 2005. 290 pp.
  • Hurt, R. Douglas. Agriculture and Slavery in Missouri's Little Dixie University of Missouri Press, 1992
  • Jewett, Clayton E. and John O. Allen; Slavery in the South: A State-By-State History Greenwood Press, 2004 online edition
  • Kennedy, Cynthia M. Braided Relations, Entwined Lives: The Women of Charleston's Urban Slave Society. Indiana U. Press, 2005. 311 pp.
  • Kulikoff, Alan. Tobacco and Slaves: The Development of Southern Cultures in the Chesapeake, 1680-1800 University of North Carolina Press, 1986.
  • Minges, Patrick N. Slavery in the Cherokee Nation: The Keetoowah Society and the Defining of a People, 1855-1867 2003 deals with Indian slave owners online edition
  • Mohr, Clarence L. On the Threshold of Freedom: Masters and Slaves in Civil War Georgia University of Georgia Press, 1986.
  • Mooney, Chase C. Slavery in Tennessee Indiana University Press, 1957.
  • Olwell, Robert. Masters, Slaves, & Subjects: The Culture of Power in the South Carolina Low Country, 1740-1790 Cornell University Press, 1998.
  • Phillips, Ulrich B. "The Economic Cost of Slaveholding in the Cotton Belt" Political Science Quarterly 20 (June 1905): 257-75.
  • Phillips, Ulrich B. "The Origin and Growth of the Southern Black Belts". American Historical Review (July 1906): 798-815.
  • Phillips, Ulrich B. [ "Slave Crime in Virginia." American Historical Review 20 (January 1915): 336-40.

  • Phillips, Ulrich B. "The Slave Labor Problem in the Charleston District" Political Science Quarterly 22 (September 1907): 416-39.

  • Reidy, Joseph P. From Slavery to Agrarian Capitalism in the Cotton Plantation South, Central Georgia, 1800-1880 University of North Carolina Press, 1992.
  • Ripley, C. Peter. Slaves and Freemen in Civil War Louisiana Louisiana State University Press, 1976.
  • Rivers, Larry Eugene. Slavery in Florida: Territorial Days to Emancipation University Press of Florida, 2000.
  • Schwalm, Leslie. A Hard Fight for We: Women's Transition from Slavery to Freedom in South Carolina University of Chicago Press, 1997.
  • Sellers, James Benson, Slavery in Alabama University of Alabama Press, 1950 online edition
  • Sydnor, Charles S. Slavery in Mississippi. 1933
  • Takagi, Midori. Rearing Wolves to Our Own Destruction: Slavery in Richmond, Virginia, 1782-1865 University Press of Virginia, 1999.
  • Taylor, Joe Gray. Negro Slavery in Louisiana. Baton Rouge: Louisiana Historical Society, 1963.
  • Wood, Peter H. Black Majority: Negroes in Colonial South Carolina from 1670 through the Stono Rebellion 1974.

Anti-slavery and political debates

  • Fehrenbacher, Don E. Slavery, Law, and Politics: The Dred Scott Case in Historical Perspective Oxford University Press, 1981 online edition
  • Filler, Louis. The Crusade Against Slavery: 1830-1860 . 1960.
  • Morrison, Michael A. Slavery and the American West: The Eclipse of Manifest Destiny and the Coming of the Civil War. U. of North Carolina Press, 1997. online edition
  • Striner, Richard. Father Abraham: Lincoln's Relentless Struggle to End Slavery. Oxford U. Press, 2006. 295 pp.


  • Blight, David W. "The World the Slave Traders Made: Is there a Postrevisionism in Slavery Historiography?" Reviews in American History, 1991 19#1 pp 37-42 in JSTOR
  • Boles, John B. and Evelyn T. Nolen, eds., Interpreting Southern History: Historiographical Essays in Honor of Sanford W. Higginbotham (1987).
  • Davis, David Brion. "Slavery and the Post-World War II Historians," Daedalus (1974), vol 103#2, pp 1-16
  • Davis, David Brion. "Looking at Slavery from Broader Perspectives" American Historical Review (2000) v 105#2 pp 452-66.
  • Horton, James Oliver and Horton, Lois E., eds. Slavery and Public History: The Tough Stuff of American Memory. New Press, 2006. 272 pp.
  • Richard H. King, "Marxism and the Slave South", American Quarterly 29 (1977), 117-31. focus on Eugene Genovese
  • Peter Kolchin, "American Historians and Antebellum Southern Slavery, 1959-1984", in William J. Cooper, Michael F. Holt, and John McCardell , eds., A Master's Due: Essays in Honor of David Herbert Donald (1985), 87-111
  • James M. McPherson et al., Blacks in America: Bibliographical Essays (1971).
  • Peter J. Parish; Slavery: History and Historians Westview Press. 1989 online edition

Historical fiction

  • Edward P. Jones. The Known World New York: Amistad, 2003. ISBN 0060557559 Pulitzer Prize for fiction.