The Slave Ship: A Human History

The Slave Ship: A Human History

by Marcus Rediker, Kathleen Flinn
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The Slave Ship: A Human History by Marcus Rediker, Kathleen Flinn

“Masterly.”—Adam Hochschild, The New York Times Book Review

In this widely praised history of an infamous institution, award-winning scholar Marcus Rediker shines a light into the darkest corners of the British and American slave ships of the eighteenth century. Drawing on thirty years of research in maritime archives, court records, diaries, and firsthand accounts, The Slave Ship is riveting and sobering in its revelations, reconstructing in chilling detail a world nearly lost to history: the "floating dungeons" at the forefront of the birth of African American culture.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780670018239
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/04/2007
Pages: 448
Product dimensions: 6.36(w) x 9.28(h) x 1.48(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Marcus Rediker is the Distinguished Professor of Atlantic History at the University of Pittsburgh and the award-winning author of The Slave Ship. He lives in Pittsburgh.

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The Slave Ship: A Human History 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Chicagoan More than 1 year ago
I was sickened when I read about how many generations have endured world cruelty. Yet, I could not abandon reading this book. I felt that I owed it to my ancestors to be informed about what occurred. Dr. Rediker's presentation of the material makes difficult reading easier.
KeikoHP More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book. It has a lot of inside information about slave ships. For instance, it tells that the slave ship captain who wrote Amazing Grace was not really that much of an opponent to slavery, regardless of what one is told in church and Sunday school. The only problem with this book is that the subject matter is sometimes hard to take. It's painful to read about slavery, but if one is nevertheless interested in it, then this book is a good one.
katelyn clem More than 1 year ago
An eye opening look at the atlantic slave trade. Graphic but necessary, an important historic look into mankinds history.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Marcus Rediker, of Pittsburgh University¿s History Department, has written a brilliant account of the machine that enabled history¿s largest forced migration. Exploration, settlement, production and trade all required massive fleets of ships. The slave ships, with names like Liberty, Free Love and Delight, transported both the expropriated labourers and the new commodities that they produced. The ships were weapons, factories and prisons too. These ships were the key to an entire phase of capitalist expansion. Between the late 15th century and the late 19th century, it is estimated that they transported 10.6 million people, of whom 1.5 million died in the first year of slavery. 1.8 million had died en route to Africa¿s coast, and 1.8 million died on the ships. So the trade killed more than five million people. The 18th century was the worst century, in which seven million people were transported, three million of them in British and US ships, from Liverpool, Bristol and London. Seven million slaves were bought in Britain¿s sugar islands, for toil in the plantations. For half the 18th century, Britain was at war with France or Spain, for markets and empire. The slaver merchant capitalists gained from it all. They hired the captains and the captains hired the sailors. The conflict between these two forces was the primary contradiction on board, until the ships reached the African coast, then all united against the slaves. The captains exercised the discipline of exemplary violence against slaves and sailors. Their cruelty and terror were not individual quirks but were built in to `the general cruelty of the system¿. Rediker studies the conflicts, cooperation and culture of the enslaved. He shows how the enslaved Africans were the primary, and first, abolitionists, supported by dissident sailors and antislavery activists like Thomas Clarkson. The book renders the sheer horror of the experiences that this vile trade inflicted on people. Rediker concludes, ¿we must remember that such horrors have always been, and remain, central to the making of global capitalism.¿ The British Empire, so romanticised by Brown, Blair and a horde of self-publicising sycophants, was built on this murderous trade.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book has a lot of good history but continually repeats what has already been told. I understand there are many different accounts but the reader is not going to remember the names of persons whom the reported the events. I did not even get halfway through the book and will not finish it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago