The Slave Ship
A Human History
By (author) Marcus Rediker
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Slave Ship by Marcus Rediker
Book DescriptionThe slave ship was the instrument of history's greatest forced migration and a key to the origins and growth of global capitalism, yet much of its history remains unknown. Marcus Rediker uncovers the extraordinary human drama that played out on this world-changing vessel. Drawing on thirty years of maritime research, he demonstrates the truth of W.E.B DuBois's observation: the slave trade was the most magnificent drama in the last thousand years of human history. The Slave Ship focuses on the so-called golden age of the slave trade, the period of 1700-1808, when more than six million people were transported out of Africa, most of them on British and American ships, across the Atlantic, to slave on New World plantations. Marcus Rediker tells poignant tales of life, death and terror as he captures the shipboard drama of brutal discipline and fierce resistance. He reconstructs the lives of individuals, such as John Newton, James Field Stanfield and Olaudah Equiano, and the collective experience of captains, sailors and slaves. Mindful of the haunting legacies of race, class and slavery, Marcus Rediker offers a vivid and unforgettable portrait of the ghost ship of our modern consciousness.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780719563034
(199mm x 129mm x 30mm)
Imprint: John Murray Publishers Ltd
Publisher: John Murray General Publishing Division
Publish Date: 18-Sep-2008
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Marcus Rediker
Outlaws of the Atlantic, Hardback (September 2014)
Gripping maritime history from below with pirates and escaped slaves.
Many-Headed Hydra, Paperback (November 2012)
A fascinating investigation into the stories of the forgotten revolutionaries of the Atlantic.
Many Middle Passages, Paperback (August 2007)» View all books by Marcus Rediker
Presents a perspective on the history of forced migration over 3 centuries and illuminates the centrality of movements of people in making of this world. This book traces the history of slaves, indentured servants, transported convicts, bonded soldiers, trafficked women, and coolie and Kanaka labor across the Pacific, Indian, and Atlantic Oceans.
US Kirkus Review » Making the slave ship real, "historian Rediker (History/Univ. of Pittsburgh) revivifies the horror of this world-changing machine.By 1807, more than nine-million Africans in shackles, manacles, neck rings, locks and chains had been carried to New World plantations, a crime impossible without ships, the most complex machines of the age, turned for this evil purpose into floating dungeons. Rediker's multilayered narrative - marred only by an occasional eruption of academic lingo and a clunky economic analysis - examines first the captains, whose absolute authority and mastery of many duties - warden, straw boss, international merchant, technician - made them indispensable. Their violent tyranny animated the "Savage Spirit of the Trade," cascading downward to the victimized crews, the dregs of the waterfront, who in turn became victimizers, liberally employing the cat-o'-nine tails on their captives. Boarding the ships, the slaves, themselves prisoners of African wars, criminals in their own societies or kidnap victims, transitioned to European control and found their world completely changed. Here Rediker (Villains of All Nations: Atlantic Pirates in the Golden Age, 2004, etc.) excels, detailing their strategies of resistance - refusing to eat, jumping overboard, rising up against their captors - their shipboard punishments, deaths and deprivations and the new kinship that arose among the survivors of the harsh Middle Passage, a bonding that helped sustain the resistance movement for centuries. Finally, the author includes stories by and about abolitionists such as Thomas Clarkson, who gathered the horror stories of the seamen; William Wilberforce, Parliament's most persistent anti - slave trade voice; James Stanfield, an old jack tar who wrote from the common sailor's perspective; Captain John Newton, whose religious transformation turned him into an opponent; and Olaudah Equiano, a slave who wrote movingly about the Atlantic crossing. Rediker's dramatic presentation powerfully impresses. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Marcus Rediker
Marcus Rediker holds a Ph.D in history from the University of Pennsylvania and is currently Professor of History at the University of Pittsburgh. One of Americas foremost maritime and Atlantic historians, he has held several fellowships and lectured around the world. He is author of four books, including (with Peter Linebaugh) the prize-winning The Many-Headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners, and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic.
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