An international scholarly online history journal on First and Second Empire subjects: articles, bibliographies, book reviews, in english and in french
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THE MAGAZINE / NEWS

Magazine and News is a place where, every day, we bring you not only what’s going on in the Napoleonic world and interviews with those leading Napoleonic history today, but we also offer you Napoleonic pastimes, entertainments, and even recipes. Enjoy!

Latest updates :

Littérature et poésie : "The geographical plan of the Island & Forts of Ste Helena"
Press review : Silent London: "How to beat the Napoléon blues" (article on Abel Gance's Napoléon)
Interview : Alexander Mikaberidze on Russian Voices of the Napoleonic Wars
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BOOKS ALREADY PUBLISHED

Each month we present an important recent book, and every week we report on recent publications.
You can also find the books published in previous years by using the scrollbar menu at the bottom of the page. To add one or more books to your «My napoleon.org » account, click on the title(s) and then select «Add to my account».

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TAYLOR Alan, The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832


Description:  
From the publisher:
 
"This [...] story of slavery and freedom in the Chesapeake by a Pulitzer Prize–winning historian reveals the pivot in the nation's path between the founding and civil war.
 
Frederick Douglass recalled that slaves living along Chesapeake Bay longingly viewed sailing ships as "freedom's swift-winged angels." In 1813 those angels appeared in the bay as British warships coming to punish the Americans for declaring war on the empire. Over many nights, hundreds of slaves paddled out to the warships seeking protection for their families from the ravages of slavery. The runaways pressured the British admirals into becoming liberators. As guides, pilots, sailors, and marines, the former slaves used their intimate knowledge of the countryside to transform the war. They enabled the British to escalate their onshore attacks and to capture and burn Washington, D.C. Tidewater masters had long dreaded their slaves as "an internal enemy." By mobilizing that enemy, the war ignited the deepest fears of Chesapeake slaveholders. It also alienated Virginians from a national government that had neglected their defense. Instead they turned south, their interests aligning more and more with their section. In 1820 Thomas Jefferson observed of sectionalism: "Like a firebell in the night [it] awakened and filled me with terror. I considered it at once the knell of the union." The notes of alarm in Jefferson's comment speak of the fear aroused by the recent crisis over slavery in his home state. His vision of a cataclysm to come proved prescient. Jefferson's startling observation registered a turn in the nation's course, a pivot from the national purpose of the founding toward the threat of disunion. Drawn from new sources, Alan Taylor's [...] narrative re-creates the events that inspired black Virginians, haunted slaveholders, and set the nation on a new and dangerous course."
 
Also see James Oakes' review in The Washington Post.

Place and publisher: W. W. Norton & Company, 1st edition

Date of publication: September 2013

Number of pages: 624


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