Atlas of the Transatlantic Slave Trade

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Overview

Between 1501 and 1867, the transatlantic slave trade claimed an estimated 12.5 million Africans and involved almost every country with an Atlantic coastline. In this extraordinary book, two leading historians have created the first comprehensive, up-to-date atlas on this 350-year history of kidnapping and coercion. It features nearly 200 maps, especially created for the volume, that explore every detail of the African slave traffic to the New World. The atlas is based on an online database (www.slavevoyages.org) with records on nearly 35,000 slaving voyages—roughly 80 percent of all such voyages ever made. Using maps, David Eltis and David Richardson show which nations participated in the slave trade, where the ships involved were outfitted, where the captives boarded ship, and where they were landed in the Americas, as well as the experience of the transatlantic voyage and the geographic dimensions of the eventual abolition of the traffic. Accompanying the maps are illustrations and contemporary literary selections, including poems, letters, and diary entries, intended to enhance readers’ understanding of the human story underlying the trade from its inception to its end.

This groundbreaking work provides the fullest possible picture of the extent and inhumanity of one of the largest forced migrations in history.

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Editorial Reviews

Very Short List

"One of the most ambitious books of this--or any other--publishing season: a fascinating, horrifying, beautifully put-together atlas of the transatlantic slave trade."—Very Short List
New York Times

"A monumental chronicle of this historical tragedy, one that records some 35,000 individual slaving voyages, roughly 80 percent of those made. . . . [This book] is a human document as well as a rigorous accounting. It is filled with moving poems, photographs, letters and diary entries."-- Dwight Garner, New York Times

— Dwight Garner

Foreign Affairs

"This marvelous book will change how people think of the slave trade. It deserves every accolade it is likely to get."—Nicolas van de Walle, Foreign Affairs

— Nicolas van de Walle

Henry Louis Gates Jr.

"The Atlas is the Rosetta Stone of slave historiography, making legible through maps and charts the mass of data that, at long last, allows us to grapple with and interpret the strange and intricate history of the slave trade in African human beings to the New World between 1501 and 1866. If there were Pulitzer Prizes for databases, this would win, hands down."—Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Harvard University
Ira Berlin

"A brilliant rendition of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database. This atlas is essential to the study of chattel slavery. No student of slavery should be without it."—Ira Berlin, University of Maryland
Philip D. Morgan

"These magnificent maps—all 189—document almost every conceivable aspect of one of the world's worst crimes. An epic and gruesome drama receives a fitting representation. A superb contribution to scholarship."—Philip D. Morgan, Johns Hopkins University
Toyin Falola

"Sophisticated and erudite, the maps and the introductions to them offer the best and most accessible interpretations on various aspects of the transatlantic slave trade. Full of insights and new findings, the strong analysis and evidence presented will create a permanent distinguished stamp on the book, confirming it as a groundbreaking text for both beginners and advanced students."—Toyin Falola, University of Texas at Austin
John Thornton
"The Atlas of the Transatlantic Slave Trade is a dramatic step forward in the cartographic representation of the slave trade, tracing the flow of captives in much greater detail and with more precision than ever before. This atlas also systematically links African ports to American ports and hinterland African states to the ports from which their slaves were exported: an important step and a reminder that a great deal of the slave trade began deep in Africa."—John Thornton, author of Africa and Africans in the Making of the Atlantic World, 1400-1800
Stanley Engerman

"This is a highly original work and represents a major contribution to historical analysis. There are no comparable works on this topic."—Stanley Engerman, University of Rochester

Steve Behrendt

“This is an important project that will add greatly to our understanding about the major, long-term patterns of trade between Africa and the Americas, help to map the African Diaspora, and place the transatlantic slave trade in larger world history context.”—Steve Behrendt, Victoria University of Wellington

Harm J. de Blij

“This is a major work of enormous consequence, without parallel in the literature, deeply researched, highly original, and of immeasurable value.”—Harm J. de Blij, Michigan State University

New York Times - Dwight Garner

"A monumental chronicle of this historical tragedy, one that records some 35,000 individual slaving voyages, roughly 80 percent of those made. . . . [This book] is a human document as well as a rigorous accounting. It is filled with moving poems, photographs, letters and diary entries."—Dwight Garner, New York Times

Association of American Publishers - PROSE Award for Excellence in Reference Works

Winner of the PROSE Award for Excellence in Single Volume Reference/Humanities and Social Sciences catergory, as given by the Association of American Publishers
Dartmouth Medal Committee - Outstanding Reference Honorable Mention

Received Honorable Mention for the 2011 Dartmouth Medal for outstanding reference
Anisfield-Wolf Awards - Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards Nonfiction Winner

Winner of the 2011 Anisfield-Wolf Awards in the non-fiction category
Foreign Affairs - Nicolas van de Walle

"This marvelous book will change how people think of the slave trade. It deserves every accolade it is likely to get."—Nicolas van de Walle, Foreign Affairs
New York Book Festival - General Non-Fiction Honorable Mention

Received Honorable Mention in the 2011 New York Book Festival Non-Fiction Category
International Journal of Maritime History - James Walvin

". . . a beautifully produced volume . . . The whole is topped and tailed by two excellent essays: a masterly introduction by David Brion Davis and a rousing afterword by David Blight. The end result of all this international, scholarly effort is a remarkable book which is not only a pleasure to have on one's shelves, but a model of scholarly and publishing activity. . . . Here, and in their varied (and complex) work as individual scholars, Eltis and Richardson have revealed themselves to be among the most imaginative, influential and distinguished historians of their generation."—James Walvin, International Journal of Maritime History
American Historical Association (AHA) - James A. Rawley Prize in Atlantic History

Winner of the 2011 James A. Rawley Prize in Atlantic history, as given by the American Historical Association.
The Americas - Walter Hawthorne

"This is a beautiful atlas . . . a valuable reference for scholars of slavery and the Atlantic slave trade and a teaching tool for anyone engaged with African or African diasporic history . . . I'll return to it for years to come and look forward to introducing it to my students."—Walter Hawthorne, The Americas
American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies - Louis Gottschalk Prize

David Eltis and David Richardson, Atlas of the Transatlantic Slave Trade won the 2011-12 Louis Gottschalk Prize given by the American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies.
 
This prize is for an outstanding historical or critical study on the eighteenth century and carries an award of $1,000. Louis Gottschalk (1899-1975) second President of ASECS, President of the American Historical Association, and for many years Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago, exemplified in his scholarship the humanistic ideals that this award is meant to encourage.
Library Journal
Eltis (history & principal investigator for the Electronic Slave Trade Database Project, Emory Univ.) and Richardson (economic history & director, Wilberforce Inst. for the Study of Slavery and Emancipation, Univ. of Hull, England) have transformed the massive collection of data derived from nearly 35,000 transatlantic slave voyages contained at slavevoyages.org into an atlas of 189 full-color maps. These are divided into seven sections that explore various economic, logistical, and human aspects of the trade, including "Nations Transporting Slaves from Africa, 1501–1867"; "Ports Outfitting Voyages in the Transatlantic Slave Trade"; "The African Coastal Origins of Slaves and the Links Between Africa and the Atlantic World"; "The Experience of the Middle Passage"; "The Destinations of Slaves in the Americas and Their Links with the Atlantic World"; and "Abolition and Suppression of the Transatlantic Slave Trade." The interpretative text is authoritative yet suitable for general readers and accompanied by contemporary illustrations and quotations from related documents and publications representing both slavers and slaves. Statistical tables and a time line are included but, oddly, no index. Previously, James Walvin's Atlas of Slavery (Longman, 2005) was the only recent cartographic resource dealing with this subject. However, it is a more general overview of the practice worldwide and includes the 20th century in its scope. BOTTOM LINE Eltis and Richardson have produced a landmark, detailed analysis of the four-centuries-long, intercontinental dimension of the slave trade. Their atlas is highly recommended for public and academic library reference and history collections.—Edward K. Werner, St. Lucie Cty. Lib. Syst., Ft. Pierce, FL
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Product Details

Meet the Author


David Eltis is Robert W. Woodruff Professor of History and principal investigator, Electronic Slave Trade Database Project, Emory University. The author of The Rise of African Slavery in the Americas, he lives in Atlanta. David Richardson is director, Wilberforce Institute for the Study of Slavery and Emancipation, and professor of economic history, University of Hull, England. He serves on the advisory board of the Electronic Slave Trade Database Project and lives in England. Together, the authors coedited Extending the Frontiers: Essays on the New Transatlantic Slave Trade Database.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 25, 2011

    An awesome compilation of history.

    I commend the authors for their fortitude in gathering the history of a period in which lives were altered and impacted due to the Transatlantic Slave Trade. I will treasure this book always.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Transatlantic Slave Trade of Africa (not northern Africa) and huge number of Slaves exported to the USA, Carribbean and South America that were DOCUMENTED from the 15th Century (1441) to 19th Century (year 1887). Easy-reading, many maps, info.

    Transatlantic Slave Trade of Africa (not northern Africa) and huge number of Slaves exported to the USA, Carribbean and South America that were DOCUMENTED from the 15th Century (year 1441) to 19th Century (year 1887). Easy-reading, many maps, and information. Several regions of Africa covered (not northern Africa or other areas where there were also slave exported), and this is what was just documented. Interesting reading. This atlas is very well done, with many trade routes and maps diagrammed, and it is easy to read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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