Winner of the SHEAR Book Prize, Society for Historians of the Early American Republic
Honorable Mention, Avery O. Craven Award, Organization of American Historians
A Choice Outstanding Academic Title of the Year
"[One] of the most impressive works of American history in many years."
--Timothy Shenk, The Nation
"River of Dark Dreams is an important, arguably seminal, book... It is always trenchant and learned. And in highly compelling fashion, it helps us more fully appreciate how thoroughly the slaveholding South was part of the capitalist transatlantic world of the first half of the 19th century."
--Mark M. Smith, Wall Street Journal
"Walter Johnson's River of Dark Dreams shows how the Cotton Kingdom of the 19th-century Deep South, far from being a backward outpost of feudalism, was a dynamic engine of capitalist expansion built on enslaved labor."
--A. O. Scott, New York Times
"River of Dark Dreams delivers spectacularly on the long-standing mission to write 'history from the bottom up.'"
--Maya Jasanoff, New York Review of Books
"Few books have captured the lived experience of slavery as powerfully as River of Dark Dreams."
--Ari Kelman, Times Literary Supplement
River of Dark Dreams: Slavery and Empire in the Cotton Kingdom