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Honor and Slavery:
Lies, Duels, Noses, Masks, Dressing as a Woman, Gifts, Strangers, Humanitarianism, Death, Slave Rebellions, the Proslavery Argument, Baseball, Hunting, and Gambling in the Old South
Kenneth S. Greenberg

Book Description | Table of Contents


"Greenberg's thesis and accompanying analysis are tightly interwoven. His discussion is both entertaining and thought provoking, and his conclusions fit well with other discussions of the role of honor in Southern history. . . . Highly readable and interesting."--Robert P. Steed, The Review of Politics

"This volume works with great imagination and complexity to show how elite men understood themselves as slave owners and as men."--Ted Ownby, Journal of Southern History

"Greenberg's study is easy to praise. It is readable and insightful. . . . More important, it is a fine introduction to the new linguistic approaches to history, wherein dull and seemingly trivial customs can be made fun and important."--John Mayfield, Georgia Historical Quarterly

"This is a valuable book. . . . [V]ivid and persuasive. . . . [G]iven the engaging quality of Greenberg's writing, coupled with his notable ability to tell a story, the book should receive a wide audience among historians and an appreciative one among students of the nineteenth-century American South."--Dickson D. Bruce, Jr., American Historical Review

"A piercing--and decidedly offbeat--look into the mind of the Old South. . . . Greenberg handles his arguments deftly, full as they are of odd digressions, to show [a culture] with a unique code of custom and communication. . . . Charged with ideas, this is a cheerfully speculative and valuable addition to the library of the Civil War."--Kirkus Reviews

"Many of Greenberg's observations offer revealing contextualizations. Particularly interesting are chapters on death and on the duel and its rather less drastic variation, the tweaking of the nose, a symbol of masculine honor."--Publishers Weekly

"This is an unusual book, and one that isn't easily categorized. For a historical work it's short and uncharacteristically wry, but Greenberg writes with a lexicographic and historical earnestness of purpose that doesn't allow him to slip into irony at the expense of his subject matter. . . .there's an awful lot of significance to be gleaned from the marginal and the superficial."--Toby Lester, The Boston Book Review

". . . should be required reading for anyone interested in its [Southern] life and culture before the Civil War."--Library Journal

"Greenberg provides an in-depth study of the language of honor in the Old South. He skillfully demonstrates how this language embraced a complex system of phrases, gestures, and behaviors that asserted authority or maintained respect. . . . His work gives a clear view of what it meant to live as a courageous free man in the Old South and should be required reading for anyone interested in its life and culture before the Civil War."--Library Journal


"A genuinely fresh contribution to our understanding of the culture of the Old South . . . Greenberg writes with charm, verve, and vigor."--Eugene Genovese

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File created: 4/21/2017

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