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On Human Bondage: After Slavery and Social Death

John Bodel
Wiley-Blackwell
January 2017

On Human Bondage—a critical reexamination of Orlando Patterson’s groundbreaking Slavery and Social Death—assesses how his theories have stood the test of time and applies them to new case studies.

  • Discusses the novel ideas of social death and natal alienation, as Patterson first presented them 35 years ago and as they are understood today
  • Brings together exciting new work by a group of esteemed historians of slavery, as well as a final chapter by Patterson himself that responds to and expands upon the other contributions
  • Provides insights into slave societies around the world and across time, from classical Greece and Rome to modern Brazil and the Caribbean, and from Han China and pre-colonial South Asia to early modern Europe and the New World
  • Delves into a wide range of topics, including the reformation of social identity after slavery, the new historicist approach to slavery, rituals of enslavement and servitude, questions of honor and dishonor, and symbolic imagery of slavery