The Sugar Masters: Planters and Slaves in Louisiana's Cane World, 1820–1860
By Richard Follett
Focusing on the master-slave relationship in Louisiana's antebellum sugarcane country, The Sugar Masters explores how a modern, capitalist mind-set among planters meshed with old-style paternalistic attitudes to create one of the South's most insidiously oppressive labor systems. As author Richard Follett vividly demonstrates, the agricultural paradise of Louisiana's thriving sugarcane fields came at an unconscionable cost to slaves.
As a tour guide at the museum, I have found this book to be a valuable asset in educating people about the unique and utterly brutal system of slavery used on sugar cane plantations in Louisiana. While it is a bit dry at times, Sugar Masters is brimming with a wealth of interesting information about the era. It can be disturbing at times, but the book never ceases to be intriguing and informative. It is a must read for anyone who considers themselves a student of Louisiana history.
It is available in the West Baton Rouge Museum's gift shop for $24.95.