Read I Freed Myself: African American Self-Emancipation in the Civil War Era by David Williams Free Online
Book Title: I Freed Myself: African American Self-Emancipation in the Civil War Era|
The author of the book: David Williams
Edition: Cambridge University Press
Date of issue: March 2014
ISBN 13: 9781107602496
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 11.98 MB
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Reader ratings: 6.9
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For a century and a half, Abraham Lincoln's signing of the Emancipation Proclamation has been the dominant narrative of African American freedom in the Civil War era. However, David Williams suggests that this portrayal marginalizes the role that African American slaves played in freeing themselves. At the Civil War's outset, Lincoln made clear his intent was to save the Union rather than free slaves – despite his personal distaste for slavery, he claimed no authority to interfere with the institution. By the second year of the war, though, when the Union army was in desperate need of black support, former slaves who escaped to Union lines struck a bargain: they would fight for the Union only if they were granted their freedom. Williams importantly demonstrates that freedom was not simply the absence of slavery but rather a dynamic process enacted by self-emancipated African American refugees, which compelled Lincoln to modify his war aims and place black freedom at the center of his wartime policies.
*Challenges the dominant narrative of how African Americans obtained their freedom
*Is accessible for all reading/education levels
*Brings a new perspective to understanding the emancipation of slaves
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A professor of history at Valdosta State University, David Williams received his Ph.D. in history from Auburn University in 1988. The author of numerous articles on Georgia history, the Old South, Appalachia, and the Civil War, Williams is the author of Rich Man's War: Class, Caste, and Confederate Defeat in the Lower Chattahoochee Valley and Johnny Reb's War: Battlefield and Homefront and the coauthor of Gold Fever: America's First Gold Rush and Plain Folk in a Rich Man's War: Class and Dissent in Confederate Georgia. He lives in Valdosta, Georgia.