From Slavery to Agrarian Capitalism in the Cotton Plantation South: Central Georgia, 1800-1880 by Joseph P. Reidy (review)

From Slavery to Agrarian Capitalism in the Cotton Plantation South: Central Georgia, 1800-1880 by Joseph P. Reidy (University of North Carolina Press, 1992)

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From Slavery to Agrarian Capitalism in the Cotton Plantation South: Central Georgia, 1800-1880 by Joseph P. Reidy (review)

by Mitchell Snay
Southern Cultures, Vol. 1, No. 4: Southern Humor

University of North Carolina Press, 1992

Over the last few decades, historians have set forth a compelling interpretation of the nineteenth-century American South centered around the power and persistence of white planters and the oppression and subordination of African Americans. Joseph P. Reidy, in this compactly and convincingly argued book, examines the rise, fall, and transformation of the slaveholding South by focusing on six counties surrounding the city of Macon in central Georgia. This choice, quite representative of the cotton plantation South, allows him to address the vital distinction between city and country often overlooked in studies that attempt to encompass the South as a whole. The result is local history at its best. Reidy etches the broad strokes of historical change and development in meticulous detail and rich color.