BOOK REVIEWS of this book as a study of the nature, culture, and intimacies of married slave couples in South Carolina, yet Chapter 2, ``Family Life,'' spends more time comparing the systems of ``same residence'' marriages to ``cross-plantation'' ones than focusing on the couples found in these unions. Chapter 2 could have more effectively been divided into two separate chapters, where one focused on ``same residence marriages'' and the other on ``cross-plantation marriages.'' Doing so would allow these two systems of marriages to be examined in greater detail, providing greater insight into the intricacies of slave marital relations. Stretching her meager findings into a book created a work of disconnected themes: the first two chapters discuss slave relations while the remaining chapters introduce themes that could warrant three separate studies. Chapters 4 and 5 could be combined into one chapter, while Chapter 3 reads like a misplaced article in the book that fails to show relevancy to its thesis. Chains of Love is not a critical study for southern antebellum historiography. While her thesis is innovative, West's attempt to examine this topic with little new data results in its being an incomplete work. KI B IB I MA
Journal of the Early Republic – University of Pennsylvania Press
Published: Jun 13, 2005
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