Slaves Without Masters

The Free Negro in the Antebellum South

A handsome new edition of an essential work by the groundbreaking historian of African American life in the nineteenth century

Widely recognized as “one of the nation’s foremost scholars on the slave era” (Boston Globe), Bancroft Prize–winning historian Ira Berlin has changed the way we think about African American life in slavery and freedom. These two classic volumes, now available in handsome new editions, are indispensable resources for educators and general readers alike.

First published to great acclaim in 1974, Slaves Without Masters established Berlin in his field and went on to win the National History Society’s Best First Book Prize. It tells the moving story of the quarter of a million free black men and women who lived in the South before the Civil War, portraying “with careful scholarship, acute analysis, and admirable historical imagination” (The New Republic) their struggle for community, economic independence, and education within an oppressive society.

Books by Ira Berlin

Free at Last
A Documentary History of Slavery, Freedom, and the Civil War

Ira Berlin, Barbara J. Fields, Steven F. Miller, Joseph P. Reidy, Leslie S. Rowland

Slavery in New York

Ira Berlin, Leslie M. Harris

Families and Freedom
A Documentary History of African-American Kinship in the Civil War Era

Ira Berlin, Leslie S. Rowland

Remembering Slavery
African Americans Talk About Their Personal Experiences of Slavery and Emancipation

Ira Berlin, Marc Favreau, Steven F. Miller