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Polemical Pain: Slavery, Cruelty, and the Rise of Humanitarianism (review)

Polemical Pain: Slavery, Cruelty, and the Rise of Humanitarianism (review) Book Reviews Polemical Pain: Slavery, Cruelty, and the Rise of Humanitarianism. By margaret abruzzo. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011. 344 pp. $55.00 (cloth). In this revised publication of her 2005 doctoral dissertation, Margaret Abruzzo's Polemical Pain: Slavery, Cruelty, and the Rise of Humanitarianism deviates from the more traditional economic debates surrounding abolitionism to focus instead on the humanitarian side of the movement. Yet, Abruzzo delves deeper into the simple interactions between pro- and antislavery advocates in order to show that the struggle over slavery was a turbulent battle that transformed American moral ideals. By questioning why the debates over slavery's cruelty mattered so much to pro- and antislavery advocates, Abruzzo's book is less a study of the abolitionist movement, and more a study of the development of American humanitarianism. Each chapter examines a different plateau in the debates regarding humaneness and slavery's cruelty by following a rough chronology. While the first two chapters broadly focus on the eighteenth century as a whole, those that follow are more time specific, with each--perhaps unintentionally--focusing on a particular literary event. Chapter 1 naturally begins with the Quakers and their contribution to the precarious beginnings of humanitarianism in eighteenth-century America. Chapter http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of World History University of Hawai'I Press

Polemical Pain: Slavery, Cruelty, and the Rise of Humanitarianism (review)

Journal of World History , Volume 23 (2) – Aug 9, 2012

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 University of Hawai'i Press.
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1527-8050
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Abstract

Book Reviews Polemical Pain: Slavery, Cruelty, and the Rise of Humanitarianism. By margaret abruzzo. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011. 344 pp. $55.00 (cloth). In this revised publication of her 2005 doctoral dissertation, Margaret Abruzzo's Polemical Pain: Slavery, Cruelty, and the Rise of Humanitarianism deviates from the more traditional economic debates surrounding abolitionism to focus instead on the humanitarian side of the movement. Yet, Abruzzo delves deeper into the simple interactions between pro- and antislavery advocates in order to show that the struggle over slavery was a turbulent battle that transformed American moral ideals. By questioning why the debates over slavery's cruelty mattered so much to pro- and antislavery advocates, Abruzzo's book is less a study of the abolitionist movement, and more a study of the development of American humanitarianism. Each chapter examines a different plateau in the debates regarding humaneness and slavery's cruelty by following a rough chronology. While the first two chapters broadly focus on the eighteenth century as a whole, those that follow are more time specific, with each--perhaps unintentionally--focusing on a particular literary event. Chapter 1 naturally begins with the Quakers and their contribution to the precarious beginnings of humanitarianism in eighteenth-century America. Chapter

Journal

Journal of World HistoryUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Aug 9, 2012

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