The Known World
Recently, my late night reading has been The Known World by Edward P. Jones.
The novel, which came out several years ago, is about some blacks who owned slaves in the South. The understated prose illustrates the indirect way that slavery spawned a series of convoluted rationalizations by people - some of whom are otherwise admirable - who sought to deny its inherent evil. Standing to benefit from the "peculiar institution," there are those who stress its legality or who regard it simply as a business opportunity or who shun freeing slaves because they want to preserve the family's financial "legacy."
A fascinating book on several levels. I highly recommend it.