Professor, Stanford Law School

In Cuba of 1860, many persons of color who purchased their freedom lived alongside slaves; while In Louisiana and Virginia free people of color had almost disappeared, and to be black was to be enslaved. The difference was in the law and custom regulating freedom -- law made by many hands, including those of slaves themselves. This book, based on meticulous archival research and brilliantly reasoned and written, is comparative legal history at its finest.