Middle Passage (Charles Johnson)

Middle Passage was not at all what I expected it to be.  I expected a historical novel about, well, the Middle Passage.  Which Middle Passage is, in the most basic sense.  But it’s also an adventure story, and a short-but-dense philosophical musing on race, identity and America.  In the end, the best description I can … Continue reading Middle Passage (Charles Johnson)


Southern Cross: The Beginnings of the Bible Belt (Christine Leigh Heyrman)

I got this book several years ago. At the time I thought it sounded fascinating (and it is), but for whatever reason I never got around to it till now. But I’m actually glad I waited. Southern Cross makes so much more impact, and is so much more timely, in today’s post-Trump evangelical landscape. It’s … Continue reading Southern Cross: The Beginnings of the Bible Belt (Christine Leigh Heyrman)

American Slavery, American Freedom (Edmund Morgan)

I got this book for Christmas and finally got around to reading it. I’ve enjoyed some of Edmund Morgan’s other work (Visible Saints and The Puritan Family), though I suspect he is mildly out of date in places by now. (For instance, he says Thomas Jefferson’s relationship with Sally Hemings is based only on circumstantial … Continue reading American Slavery, American Freedom (Edmund Morgan)