Slavery: A Problem in American Term Paper

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Finally, the two works have different purposes, so it is difficult to rate them to the same standards. McPherson has more on his mind than the institution of slavery; he is discussing an entire war and its aftermath, while Elkins is solely concerned with slavery in America and why it occurred. While the authors do share many similar views, many simply do not apply to each other.

In conclusion, both of these books play a vital role in understanding the complexities of the Civil War and race relations during and after the Civil War. One takes a more scholarly approach, while the other takes a more storytelling approach. Both use intensive research and knowledge of the Civil War period to make their cases, and both belong on the bookshelf of any serious Civil War historian.
McPherson's work is a bit easier to read, simply because he gears it to a lay audience, but Elkins', even after all this time, makes some very valid arguments about the American institution of slavery.

References

Elkins, S.M. (1976). Slavery: A problem in American institutional and intellectual life. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

McPherson, J.M. (2001). Ordeal by fire: The Civil War and reconstruction. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Roberts, K. African-Virginian extended kin: The prevalence of West African family forms among….....

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