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March 2016 Vol. 53 No. 7

Lawrence Hill Books

The following review appeared in the March 2016 issue of CHOICE. The review is for your internal use only. Please review our Permission and Reprints Guidelines or email

Social & Behavioral Sciences
History, Geography & Area Studies - North America

2015-2493 CIP
Sublette, Ned. The American slave coast: a history of the slave-breeding industry, by Ned Sublette and Constance Sublette. Lawrence Hill Books, 2015. 754p bibl index ISBN 9781613748206, $35.00; ISBN 9781613748237 ebook, contact publisher for price.

Ned and Constance Sublette examine the history of the breeding and trading of slaves in what is today the US from the Colonial era until the 1860s.  The authors explain the evolution of the slave trade, particularly into the 19th century, as the abolition of the international trade shifted the country‚Äôs focus to slave reproduction and sale domestically.  They show that this not only fueled the Southern economy but also stimulated US geographic and economic expansion while dehumanizing the victims of this legally sanctioned institution.  In drawing their conclusions, the authors provide numerous stories of slaves, slave traders, and masters, resulting in a vivid, engaging story.  However, this is a dense volume, comprising 754 pages organized into six parts.  The introduction acts as a preface, and part 1 is a lengthy introduction to the other five parts.  With such a long introduction and so many sections, the work might be better divided into several shorter books, which would allow readers to more easily make connections.  Nevertheless, this is a useful addition to the historiography of slavery.

--T. K. Byron, Dalton State College

Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above.