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Book Title: Slaves in the Family|
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Reader ratings: 3.6
The author of the book: Edward Ball
Edition: Ballantine Books
Date of issue: December 29th 1998
ISBN 13: 9780345431059
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 31.30 MB
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Journalist Ball confronts the legacy of his family's slave-owning past, uncovering the story of the people, both black and white, who lived and worked on the Balls' South Carolina plantations. It is an unprecedented family record that reveals how the painful legacy of slavery continues to endure in America's collective memory and experience. Ball, a descendant of one of the largest slave-owning families in the South, discovered that his ancestors owned 25 plantations, worked by nearly 4,000 slaves.
Through meticulous research and by interviewing scattered relatives, Ball contacted some 100,000 African-Americans who are all descendants of Ball slaves. In intimate conversations with them, he garnered information, hard words, and devastating family stories of precisely what it means to be enslaved. He found that the family plantation owners were far from benevolent patriarchs; instead there is a dark history of exploitation, interbreeding, and extreme violence.
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Read information about the authorEdward Ball was born in Savannah, Georgia, in 1958, grew up in South Carolina, Florida, and Louisiana. He finished high school in New Orleans and attended Brown University, graduating in 1982 with a B.A. in Semiotics.
He received a Master of Arts degree from the University of Iowa in 1984, and afterwards moved to New York City, where he worked as a freelance art critic, writing about film, art, architecture, and books for several magazines. For several years, he wrote for The Village Voice, a weekly with a circulation of 450,000.
In 1993, he began to research his family legacy as slave owners in South Carolina, an investigation that resulted in a half-hour National Public Radio documentary, "The Other History," which was awarded, in 1994, Best Radio Feature by the Society of Professional Journalists. He looked deeper into his family's story, documented in several archives, and, after three years, published his first book, Slaves in the Family, about his family's plantations and his search for black Americans whose ancestors the writer's family had once enslaved. Slaves in the Family was a New York Times bestseller and won the National Book Award for nonfiction.
Edward Ball's other books comprise biography, history, and memoir. He has taught at Yale University, and he lives in New Haven, Connecticut.
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