ISBN-10:
0674030680
ISBN-13:
9780674030688
Pub. Date:
12/15/2008
Publisher:
Harvard
Saltwater Slavery: A Middle Passage from Africa to American Diaspora

Saltwater Slavery: A Middle Passage from Africa to American Diaspora

by Stephanie E. Smallwood

Paperback

View All Available Formats & Editions
Current price is , Original price is $24.0. You
Select a Purchase Option (New Edition)
  • purchase options
    $21.90 $24.00 Save 9% Current price is $21.9, Original price is $24. You Save 9%.
  • purchase options

Overview

Saltwater Slavery: A Middle Passage from Africa to American Diaspora

This bold, innovative book promises to radically alter our understanding of the Atlantic slave trade, and the depths of its horrors. Stephanie E. Smallwood offers a penetrating look at the process of enslavement from its African origins through the Middle Passage and into the American slave market.

Smallwood's story is animated by deep research and gives us a startlingly graphic experience of the slave trade from the vantage point of the slaves themselves. Ultimately, Saltwater Slavery details how African people were transformed into Atlantic commodities in the process. She begins her narrative on the shores of seventeenth-century Africa, tracing how the trade in human bodies came to define the life of the Gold Coast. Smallwood takes us into the ports and stone fortresses where African captives were held and prepared, and then through the Middle Passage itself. In extraordinary detail, we witness these men and women cramped in the holds of ships, gasping for air, and trying to make sense of an unfamiliar sea and an unimaginable destination. Arriving in America, we see how these new migrants enter the market for laboring bodies, and struggle to reconstruct their social identities in the New World.

Throughout, Smallwood examines how the people at the center of her story-merchant capitalists, sailors, and slaves-made sense of the bloody process in which they were joined. The result is both a remarkable transatlantic view of the culture of enslavement, and a painful, intimate vision of the bloody, daily business of the slave trade.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674030688
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 12/15/2008
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 283,914
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Stephanie E. Smallwood is Associate Professor of History at the University of Washington, Seattle.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • 1. The Gold Coast and the Atlantic Market for People
  • 2. Turning African Captives into Atlantic Commodities
  • 3. The Political Economy of the Slave Ship
  • 4. The Anomalous Intimacies of the Slave Cargo
  • 5. The Living Dead aboard the Slave Ship at Sea
  • 6. Turning Atlantic Commodities into American Slaves
  • 7. Life and Death in Diaspora
  • Conclusion: Saltwater Slavery in Memory and History
  • Notes
  • Index

What People are Saying About This

Stephanie Smallwood's Saltwater Slavery is the new starting point for studies of the Middle Passage and required reading for students of the black Atlantic.

Walter Johnson

Stephanie Smallwood's Saltwater Slavery sets a new standard. It is at once a harrowing evocation of the Middle Passage, a brilliant account of the ways that Africans and Europeans made sense of the bloody process in which they were joined, and a subtle critique of the categories of historical inquiry. Here we see realized the enormous promise of a genuinely Atlantic approach to the history of American slavery.
Walter Johnson, author of Soul by Soul

Ira Berlin

Stephanie Smallwood's Saltwater Slavery is the new starting point for studies of the Middle Passage and required reading for students of the black Atlantic.
Ira Berlin, University of Maryland, author of Many Thousands Gone

Joseph C. Miller

No study of the Atlantic slave trade has attempted to penetrate the darkness of those ships' holds, to explore what might have gone on in the minds of the hundreds of nameless people trapped below decks – until now. Smallwood gets there through a tour de force of theoretical sophistication, sensitive informed imagination, and dramatic writing. Hers is the most original and provocative book on the Middle Passage in almost half a century."
Joseph C. Miller, author of Way of Death: Merchant Capitalism and the Angolan Slave Trade 1730-1830

Marcus Rediker

W.E.B. Du Bois called the African slave trade the "most magnificent drama in the last thousand years of human history." Stephanie Smallwood captures this drama in imaginative and innovative ways, offering a powerful account of the maritime origins of African-America amid the profound violence of the world market.
Marcus Rediker, co-author of The Many-Headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Saltwater Slavery: A Middle Passage from Africa to American Diaspora 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago