Slavery is no preparation for living in a free society claims the author of this book- accurately subtitled The Life Conditions of the American Negro in the Early Years After Emancipation Polite and well-mannered in the theories he offers, Mr. Donald has made a comprehensive, scholarly and open-minded study of why the southern Negro is as he is, in all aspects of life. After emancipation, three ideas became meaningful to him. First, he no longer felt obligated to work; secondly, he could leave home without asking permission; thirdly, staying on the plantation meant security. With a background of irresponsibility, for instance in such social manifestations as common law marriage where no plantation Negro husband felt the need to support wife and children, it is small wonder that there are still the so-called heedless Negro males in evidence today. Such as these are the obvious but so often unrealized facts that Donald states and explains with the care and longing of a devoted craftsman-scholar. If at times too unpretentious in its attempt to get at all sides of the question, Negro Freedman is a solid monument to the understanding of Negro problems today- of interest to all students of sociology and psychology.