2018 Book Reviews 229 peonage to the wagon of African American chattel slavery. At two points Kiser makes the important claim that national policy concerning Jim Crow labor regimes changed (at least on paper) because of anti-peonage laws in New Mexico. Yet, he does not explain the significance of the failure of these laws. I think this is because—curiously—he appears to lack a concept of race, and particularly of white supremacy, as the unifying national ideol- ogy of the postbellum United States. In supporting his larger claim that peonage and captivity were nationally significant, Kiser might have allowed the thinking of the great Elliot West to guide him. West’s 2003 Western Historical Quarterly essay, “Reconstructing Race” explodes classic paradigms and periodizations of race and region in the long nineteenth centur y. When exploring the complex hidden histories of peonage and captivity in the Southwest, Kiser is in his element. There is excellent research here that is of value to scholars of Early American, indigenous, and western history. Nevertheless, living in a time when the legacies of multiple types of colonialist violence continue to echo brutally in our present, struggling to be clear and specific about the distinctive lived experiences,
Southwestern Historical Quarterly – Texas State Historical Association
Published: Sep 12, 2018
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