White Cargo: The Forgotten History of Britain's White Slaves in America


Product Details

New York University Press
Publish Date
6.0 X 9.1 X 1.1 inches | 1.05 pounds

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About the Author

Don Jordan is an award-winning television director and writer who has worked on dozens of documentaries and dramas. He lives in London.


"An eye-opening and heart-rending story"--The Times (London)
"This vividly written book tells the tale from both sides of the Atlantic . . . meticulously sourced and footnotedbut is never dry or academic...Jordan and Walsh offer an explanation of how the structures of slaveryblack or whitewere entwined in the roots of American society. They refrain from drawing links to today, except to remind readers that there are probably tens of millions of Americans who are descended from white slaves without even knowing it."--New York Times Book Review
""A colorful series of portraits of villains and victims, exploiters and exploited, rendered with bemused outrage."--Choice
"High school American history classes present indentured servitude as a benignly paternalistic system whereby colonial immigrants spent a few years working off their passage and went on to better things. Not so, this impassioned history argues: the indentured servitude of whites was comparable in most respects to the slavery endured by blacks. Given the hideous mortality rates, the authors argue, indentured contracts often amounted to a life sentence at hard labor--some convicts asked to be hanged rather than be sent to Virginia . . . their exposé of unfree labor in the British colonies paints an arresting portrait of early America as gulag. 8 pages of photos"--Publishers Weekly
"With information gleaned from contemporary letters, journals and court archives, White Cargo is packed with proof that he brutalities usually associated with black slavery were, for centuries, also inflicted on whites"--Daily Mail