Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture

Leading Early American Scholarship Since 1943


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White over Black

American Attitudes toward the Negro, 1550-1812

Winthrop D. Jordan, with new forewords by Christopher Leslie Brown and Peter H. Wood
Second Edition

Cloth ISBN 978-0-8078-3402-2

Paper ISBN 978-0-8078-7141-6

Copyright 2012 by the University of North Carolina Press

Visit the University of North Carolina Press web page for this book.

“This monumental study is a tremendously important block, fascinating and appalling, of American social and cultural history. . . . Though the study was begun years before the current civil rights agitation, it is quite indispensable for a full appreciation of the realities and wellsprings and the dilemmas of the contemporary struggle.”

--The Phi Beta Kappa Senate award committee for the 1968 Ralph Waldo Emerson Award

White Over Black will stand as a landmark in the historiography of this generation. Its richness and insight, its sensitive, penetrating analysis of the unspoken as well as the explicit, its union of breadth with depth, make it a brilliant achievement.”

--Richard D. Brown, New England Quarterly

“One of the most important historical works of the past 40 years, contributing to the cultural shift in white thinking that made possible the election of Barack Obama.”

--Gordon S. Wood, The Wall Street Journal

“The author has put simple solutions and flashy theories aside and brought to his task a patience, skepticism, thoroughness, and humility commensurate with the vast undertaking. He combines these qualities with imagination and insight. The result is a massive and learned work that stands as the most informed and impressive pronouncement on the subject yet made.”

--C. Vann Woodward, The New York Times Book Review

“Winthrop Jordan’s masterpiece is as essential to the study of slavery and the development of race in the United States as it was when it first appeared. Jordan’s insightful analysis, marvelous writing style, and deep humanity shine through on every page of White over Black. Christopher Brown’s and Peter Wood's deft and elegant new forewords are the perfect complement to this most pivotal work in American historiography.”

--Annette Gordon-Reed, Harvard University