James Oakes is a Distinguished Professor of History and Graduate School Humanities Professor at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He previously taught at Princeton University and Northwestern University. He received his B.A. from Baruch College of the City University of New York, and he received an M.A. as well as a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. He has written four books, as well as many articles and essays, all of which focus on slavery and its affect within the United States. In his second book, Slavery and Freedom: An Interpretation of the Old South, Oakes sets out to synthesize “the relationship between slavery and liberal capitalism in the southern United States during the nineteenth century” (43).
Oakes arranges his chapters thematically. He first explains to the reader what slavery and liberal capitalism is, and then he tells how they are related and the result of the two being intertwined. Next, he describes the relationships of the different classes of Americans. Finally, he describes how slavery came to an end.…show more content… These relations include Russian serfdom, where the marriages of serfs were legally recognized, making it unlike full slavery. Oakes comments on the analogy, saying ‘only the slave was cut off from society… socially dead’ (419), therein stating that he disagrees that these two illustrations are the same, though quite similar. In general, Oakes describes slavery as dehumanizing, violent, dishonorable, an overall lack of kinship, and a perpetual arrangement. Slaves were, undoubtedly and entirely,