Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Kenneth Stampp, RIP

The great historian Kenneth Stampp died at the age of 96. Stampp did more than any other historian to destroy the myth of the contented slave. The historical establishment parroted the southern line about the benevolent white owner and happy slave for over 50 years before Stampp's The Peculiar Institution came out in 1956. While one can certainly criticize that work today, its historical importance both within the profession and in society at large cannot be overstated.