A landmark history — the sweeping story of the enslavement of tens of thousands of Indians across America, from the time of the conquistadors up to the early 20th century
Since the time of Columbus, Indian slavery was illegal in much of the American continent. Yet, as Andrés Reséndez illuminates in his myth-shattering The Other Slavery, it was practiced for centuries as an open secret. There was no abolitionist movement to protect the tens of thousands of natives who were kidnapped and enslaved by the conquistadors, then forced to descend into the “mouth of hell” of eighteenth-century silver mines or, later, made to serve as domestics for Mormon settlers and rich Anglos.
Reséndez builds the incisive case that it was mass slavery, more than epidemics, that decimated Indian populations across North America. New evidence, including testimonies of courageous priests, rapacious merchants, Indian captives, and Anglo colonists, sheds light too on Indian enslavement of other Indians — as what started as a European business passed into the hands of indigenous operators and spread like wildfire across vast tracts of the American Southwest.
The Other Slavery reveals nothing less than a key missing piece of American history. For over two centuries we have fought over, abolished, and tried to come to grips with African-American slavery. It is time for the West to confront an entirely separate, equally devastating enslavement we have long failed truly to see.
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Praise for The Other Slavery
Every now and then a new book comes along that throws a switch on our historical valences and makes us see ourselves anew. The Other Slavery is one such book. Much asBury My Heart at Wounded Knee did when it first appeared in the early 1970s, Andres Resendez s carefully sifted work fundamentally reshapes our understanding of a great enduring mystery: What really accounts for the swift and tragic demise of our continent s indigenous peoples? Hampton Sides, author of Blood and Thunder and In the Kingdom of Ice
InThe Other SlaveryAndres Resendezretells a vast section of Native American and North American history by putting forced labor in its multiple forms at the center. The result is a revealing, tragic, and heartbreaking history. Richard White, Margaret Byrne Professor of American History, Stanford University
ANDRÉS RESÉNDEZ is a professor and historian at the University of California, Davis. He is the author of A Land So Strange: The Epic Journey of Cabeza de Vaca, which Carolyn See called "impossible to put down" (Washington Post Book World). He lives in Davis, California.
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