Arming Slaves

From Classical Times to the Modern Age

Edited by Christopher Leslie Brown and Philip D. Morgan

View Inside Price: $40.00


June 8, 2006
384 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
5 maps
ISBN: 9780300109009
Paper

Also Available in:
e-book

Arming slaves as soldiers is a counterintuitive idea. Yet throughout history, in many varied societies, slaveholders have entrusted slaves with the use of deadly force. This book is the first to survey the practice broadly across space and time, encompassing the cultures of classical Greece, the early Islamic kingdoms of the Near East, West and East Africa, the British and French Caribbean, the United States, and Latin America.

To facilitate cross-cultural comparisons, each chapter addresses four crucial issues: the social and cultural facts regarding the arming of slaves, the experience of slave soldiers, the ideological origins and consequences of equipping enslaved peoples for battle, and the impact of the practice on the status of slaves and slavery itself. What emerges from the book is a new historical understanding: the arming of slaves is neither uncommon nor paradoxical but is instead both predictable and explicable.

Christopher Leslie Brown is associate professor of history at Rutgers University. Philip D. Morgan holds The Sidney and Ruth Lapidus Professorship in the American Revolutionary Era at Princeton University.

“No other book comes close to the broad coverage and wide scope of this important collection.”—Stanley Engerman, University of Rochester

"Well written and thoroughly researched. The book also provides good maps, at the start, which should be de rigueur for all history publications."—John P. Dunn, Journal of Military History

"An excellent introduction to a fascinating series of chapters in slavery's complex history."—William D. Philips, Jr., Itinerario

"This readable collection expands our understanding of soldiering as a different type of slave work, the contradictions faced by elites within slave societies, and the wide array of outcomes resulting from arming slaves."—Jeffrey R. Kerr-Ritchie, William and Mary Quarterly
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