Through his scholarship and leadership, Ira Berlin has recast the way we conceive of the history of African Americans and their relationship to other Americans. His 1974 book Slaves Without Masters, an expansive history of free black people in the antebellum years, chronicles a complex and dynamic history, which was too often relegated to the margins in previous studies. Even more important has been the Freedom Project, a vast collaborative editing enterprise overseen by Berlin that has made accessible a hitherto invisible world of black experience in the era of the Civil War. Two new books by Berlin and his associates help us see the breadth and depth of his accomplishment.

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 1999

Publisher Statement

Copyright © 1999, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. This article first appeared in The Historian 62: 1 (1999), 122-126.

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