Thursday, February 03, 2011

What is Daniel Rasmussen reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Daniel Rasmussen, author of American Uprising: The Untold Story of America's Largest Slave Revolt.

His entry begins:
I just finished Gene Dattel’s Cotton and Race in the Making of America: The Human Costs of Economic Power. Dattel’s fascinating book explains just how important cotton was to the American economy from the invention of the cotton gin through the Great Depression. A retired financier, Dattel is able to deftly draw connections between the business of cotton and the politics of this nation. Unlike many academic histories (Dattel is, like me, an independent scholar), Cotton and Race in the Making of America looks upon history through a broad scope, daring (and succeeding) in its ambition to present cotton as the building block upon which this country was built. Because of his business perspective, Dattel is able to show how...[read on]
Among the early praise for American Uprising:
“This book would be a major accomplishment for any historian; for an historian at such an early stage in his career, it is breathtaking. Rasmussen disinters the suppressed history of a slave revolt that was, in fact, the largest of its kind in US history. His scholarly detective work reveals a fascinating narrative of slavery and resistance, but it also tells us something about history itself—about how fiction can become fact, and how ‘history’ is sometimes nothing more than erasure.”
—Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

“All those interested in the history of American slavery and its relationship to the larger American experience find themselves in Dan Rasmussen’s debt because of this deeply researched, vividly written, and highly original account of the largest slave revolt in the nineteenth-century United States, which took place in Louisiana in 1811. That memory of this dramatic uprising was so long suppressed is a comment on how uncomfortable the reality of slave rebellion makes Americans. Thanks to Rasmussen we now have the full story of this dramatic moment in the struggle for freedom in this country.”
—Eric Foner

“New Orleans has been the scene of many dark adventures, but none so shocking as the slave rebellion of 1811. Daniel Rasmussen has unearthed a stunning tale of freedom and repression and told it in gripping fashion.”
—Evan Thomas
Learn more about American Uprising and its author at Daniel Rasmussen's website and blog.

The Page 99 Test: American Uprising.

Writers Read: Daniel Rasmussen.

--Marshal Zeringue