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From the Publisher"Many current scholars lay claim to a trans-national and cross-cultural 'Atlantic' history but very few have brought together the detail, scope, and vision of Toby Green. This remarkable book, focusing on Cabo Verde, Senegambia, and Upper Guinea, reveals how Iberian imperial authorities, a New Christian/Crypto-Jewish diaspora, and African economic and political agents combined to produce a wide-ranging early modern order of commerce and cultural identity around the violence of the slave trade."
Ralph Austen, University of Chicago
"In this original and thoroughly researched study, Green recasts our understanding of the early years of Africa’s engagement with Atlantic merchants. He 'Africanizes' Atlantic history by showing that a cultural framework established in Africa before the Portuguese 'discoveries', which began in the 1440s, influenced the nature of African-European exchanges for more than a century. In so doing, Green crafts a 'culturally centered approach', which stands in contrast to quantitative approaches popular in much recent scholarship. He also shows that a widely held view that a region known as Upper Guinea was relatively unimportant in the early years of Atlantic exchange is incorrect. Patterns set in Upper Guinea shaped the unfolding of the history of the slave trade, of racist ideologies, and of creolization or cultural mixing. Well written and well argued, Green’s is a story that had to be told."
Walter Hawthorne, Michigan State University, and author of From Africa to Brazil: Culture, Identity, and an Atlantic Slave Trade, 1600–1830
"Green’s book is learned and wide-ranging. It is also deeply humane and marked by an imaginative empathy of rare quality. The result is one of the best and most rewarding works I have read on the trans-Atlantic slave trade. This is a major contribution to West African and Atlantic history and marks Green as a scholar to watch."
T. C. McCaskie, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
"[This book] makes a significant contribution to historical understanding of the beginnings of European trade in Africa and places the Cape Verde islands in their rightful place at the centre of this important story. It will interest scholars of the Atlantic World and a general audience interested in European expansion and maritime trade."
Journal of World History
"A study of an impressive wealth of material."
Translated from Cahiers des Etudes Africaines