The Dawn of Detroit: A Chronicle of Slavery and Freedom in the City of the Straits (Hardcover)

The Dawn of Detroit: A Chronicle of Slavery and Freedom in the City of the Straits Cover Image
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Nominated for the 2018 Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Legacy Award (Nonfiction)

A New York Times "Editor's Choice" selection

Winner of 2018 Merle Curti Social History Award

Co-Winner of the 2018 James A. Rawley Prize

A Michigan Notable Book of 2018

A Booklist Editors' Choice Title for 2017

"If many Americans imagine slavery essentially as a system in which black men toiled on cotton plantations, Miles upends that stereotype several times over."
--New York Times Book Review

" Miles] has compiled documentation that does for Detroit what the Works Progress Administration and the Federal Writers' Project slave narratives did for other regions, primarily the South."
--Washington Post

" Tiya Miles] is among the best when it comes to blending artful storytelling with an unwavering sense of social justice."
--Martha S. Jones in The Chronicle of Higher Education

"A necessary work of powerful, probing scholarship."
--Publisher Weekly (starred)

"A book likely to stand at the head of further research into the problem of Native and African-American slavery in the north country."
--Kirkus Reviews

From the MacArthur genius grant winner, a beautifully written and revelatory look at the slave origins of a major northern American city

Most Americans believe that slavery was a creature of the South, and that Northern states and territories provided stops on the Underground Railroad for fugitive slaves on their way to Canada. In this paradigm-shifting book, celebrated historian Tiya Miles reveals that slavery was at the heart of the Midwest's iconic city: Detroit.

In this richly researched and eye-opening book, Miles has pieced together the experience of the unfree--both native and African American--in the frontier outpost of Detroit, a place wildly remote yet at the center of national and international conflict. Skillfully assembling fragments of a distant historical record, Miles introduces new historical figures and unearths struggles that remained hidden from view until now. The result is fascinating history, little explored and eloquently told, of the limits of freedom in early America, one that adds new layers of complexity to the story of a place that exerts a strong fascination in the media and among public intellectuals, artists, and activists.

A book that opens the door on a completely hidden past, The Dawn of Detroit is a powerful and elegantly written history, one that completely changes our understanding of slavery's American legacy.

About the Author


Tiya Miles is the recipient of a 2011 MacArthur Foundation "genius grant" and is a professor at the University of Michigan in the departments of American culture, Afro-American and African studies, history, women's studies, and in the Native American Studies Program. She lives in Ann Arbor.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781620972311
ISBN-10: 162097231X
Publisher: New Press
Publication Date: October 3rd, 2017
Pages: 288
Language: English

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Book Talk and Signing with Leah Weiss, author of If the Creek Don't Rise

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This intimate insight into a fiercely proud, tenacious community unfolds through the voices of the forgotten folks of Baines Creek. With a colorful cast of characters that each contribute a new perspective, If the Creek Don't Rise is a debut novel bursting with heart, honesty, and homegrown grit. 

 

 

 

 

 

“A strong, formidable novel for readers of William Faulkner and Cormac McCarthy.” Library Journal

“Weiss' novel is a great suggestion for fans of the Big Stone Gap books, by Adriana Trigiani, and the Mitford series, by Jan Karon.” Starred review, Booklist

 

Book Talk and Signing with Anna Clark, St. Joseph High School graduate and author of The Poisoned City: Flint's Water and the American Urban Tragedy

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 THE GREAT AMERICAN READ is an eight-part series on PBS that explores and celebrates the power of reading, told through the prism of America’s 100 best-loved novels (as chosen in a national survey).  It investigates how and why writers create their fictional worlds, how we as readers are affected by these stories, and what these 100 different books have to say about our diverse nation and our shared human experience.  There will be a nationwide vote to choose America's most beloved book. Find the 100 book selections here and read and place your vote by clicking on image to the left!