Patrick H. Breen
The Land Shall be Deluged in Blood
A New History of the Nat Turner Revolt
Oxford University Press 2015
New Books in African American StudiesNew Books in American StudiesNew Books in Christian StudiesNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in Religion & FaithNew Books Network December 14, 2017 Franklin Rausch
How did African-American slaves react to slavery? What factors, particularly religion, might shape those reactions, even making them violent? Patrick Breen, in his carefully researched and cogently written The Land Shall be Deluged in Blood: A New History of the Nat Turner Revolt (Oxford University Press, 2015) sheds light on these questions through a meticulous study of the slave rebellion led by Nat Turner. With its careful attention to the historiography of the rebellion, its consideration of the veracity of “The Confessions of Nat Turner” (the primary source that serves as the center of studies on the rising), and its treatment of how churches reacted to the rising, this work is not only of interest to scholars, but could easily be adopted into a college-level survey of American history or a course introducing the historian’s craft.