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"The editors have been most perceptive in making these documents available to the English-reading audience, because the lessons they contain about the system of slavery are universal in nature... Offers much to scholars and students of history. It reveals a complex and personal relationship among the races that may be surprising. Teachers may find the book useful as a learning tool."

"This is a remarkable document, beautifully translated and well presented. I know of nothing else quite like it. The Dessalles diaries are both an account of the daily thoughts and actions of an important colonial planter over the course of an immensely rich and interesting period of societal transformation and a presentation of the life history of Dessalles himself. They contain an immense amount of information about the maintenance of the slave gangs, work routines, punishments and rewards, sugarmaking, relations between planters and merchants, race relations and the nature of the status order in the colonies, kinship, property, inheritance, and insight into the transatlantic character of planter society both in the colony and in France."